Amid the coronavirus-induced lockdown, the World Bank on Friday, May 15, approved $1 billion 'Accelerating India's Covid-19 Social Protection Response Program' to support the nation's efforts for providing social assistance to the poor and vulnerable households, severely impacted by the deadly virus.
This takes the total commitment from the World Bank towards emergency COVID-19 response and health systems in India to $2 billion. World Bank stated that the billion-dollar social protection package was in addition to the previous package of $1 billion allocated to India last month.
"The World Bank's billion-dollar support for social protection will help India leverage it's PM Garib Kalyan Yojana," said World Bank Country Director (India) Junaid Kamal Ahmad.
The response to the COVID-19 pandemic around the world has required governments around the world to introduce social distancing and lockdowns in unprecedented ways, said Junaid Ahmad, World Bank Country Director in India in a webinar interaction with the reporters.
Covid-19 impacted economies and jobs
These measures, intended to contain the spread of the virus have, however, impacted economies and jobs – especially in the informal sector. India with the world's largest lockdown has not been an exception to this trend, he said.
Of the $1 billion commitment, $550 million will be financed by a credit from the International Development Association (IDA) – the World Bank's concessionary lending arm and USD 200 million will be a loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), with a final maturity of 18.5 years including a grace period of five years.
The remaining $250 million will be made available after June 30, 2020.