In a big move, the World Bank on Friday announced a $1 billion social protection package for India to aid the country's efforts to fight the dreaded Coronavirus pandemic. This $1 billion social protection package would be linked to the Government's programs and schemes launched to aid the vulnerable section of the population, hard-hit amid the pandemic.
While speaking on the Government's schemes to aid the vulnerable, Junaid Ahmad, World Bank Country Director for India said, "Social distancing has led to a slowdown of the economy. The Government of India has focused on Garib Kalyan Yojna to help protect the poor and vulnerable as a bridge between health interventions are happening and where the economy can be revived."
More details on the package are still to follow.
The Word Bank will partner with the Govt of India in three areas - health, social protection and the Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME): Junaid Ahmad, World Bank Country Director for India pic.twitter.com/jISICY9cwn— ANI (@ANI) May 15, 2020
India's social protection is pivoted towards migrants, unorganised workers, portability & creating an integration of system. It piggybacks on an existing infrastructure of Public distribution system, Jan Dhan, Aadhar & mobile: Junaid Ahmad, World Bank Country Director for India pic.twitter.com/OsnkfvQNAW— ANI (@ANI) May 15, 2020
Meanwhile, a few days ago the World Bank announced that they were ready to launch a new multi-donor trust fund, in the wake of a public health crisis, to help developing countries get better prepared for disease outbreaks. The new Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Multi-Donor Fund (HEPRF) will be in addition to the earlier announced support of up to $160 billion of financing it will provide for 15 months to support COVID-19 measures.
In India, the death toll due to the novel Coronavirus rose to 2,649 and the number of cases climbed to 81,970 on Friday, with 100 more deaths and 3,967 fresh cases being reported in the past 24 hours, according to the Union Health Ministry. The number of active COVID-19 cases stood at 51,401 as 27,919 people were cured and discharged, and one patient migrated, the ministry said.