The World Bank has announced USD 1 billion to India to combat the after effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on Friday. The total commitment from the world bank to provide assistance to the poor and vulnerable in India has added up to USD 2 billion as the World Bank announced assistance of USD 1 billion to India last month.
The bank said that the focus of this fund will be to enable India to integrate all of its 400-plus society security schemes at a technology level.
“The project will be crucial to rebalance social security towards urban poor, as much as rural. I think PMs ‘Atma nirbhar mission’ is very important in terms of directions and India is not making distinction between life and livelihoods in the aftermath of Covid-19,”” said Junaid Ahmad, country director, World Bank.
India was the largest beneficiary of the first wave of programme with a facility for US $1 billion.
Shrayana Bhattacharya, senior World Bank official said, “The World Bank said the support in collaboration with the government is aimed at integrating platforms so that people should not have to run around from one place to another to access a myriad of social schemes.
The deadly virus had caused several countries to announce a nationwide lockdown. India, with one of the largest lockdowns, has been severely impacted. It resulted in bringing the economic activities to a grinding halt, a huge percentage of the population now lack job opportunities especially in the informal sector. They have no source of income.
Out of the USD 1 billion commitment, USD 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 USD 250 million will be made available after June 30, 2020.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a Rs 20 lakh crore support package on Tuesday for boosting the economy as this will help to mitigate the damage caused by the lockdown which was announced to prevent further transmission of coronavirus.