WB considering to enhance funding for Pakistan to combat COVID-19

ISLAMABAD: The World Bank (WB) is considering to increase funding to $1 billion for Pakistan to respond to the coronavirus outbreak.

WB Country Director for Pakistan Illango Patchamuthu on Monday said that the funding will support health, employment, food and security sectors and small companies in the country.

“Every crisis presents an opportunity to reform the social sector policies. The WB has already approved $200 million funding for Pakistan. Funding of $150 million will help in immediate purchase of medical equipment and supplies. About $50 million as relief through Ehsaas cash transfers will help poor families,” he said.

On Sunday, the WB, in its report, had said that South Asia is on course for its worst economic performance in 40 years, with decades of progress in the battle against poverty at risk, because of COVID-19.

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India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan and other smaller nations, which have 1.8 billion people and some of the planet’s most densely populated cities, have so far reported relatively few coronavirus cases but experts fear they could be the next hotspots.

The dire economic effects are already much in evidence, with widespread lockdowns freezing most normal activity, Western factory orders cancelled and vast numbers of poor workers suddenly jobless.

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