From Isaac Anumihe, Abuja
The World Bank Group (WBG) has made available about $160 billion over a 15-month period ending June 2021, to help more than 100 countries protect the poor and the vulnerable; support businesses, and bolster economic recovery. This includes $50 billion of new International Development Association (IDA) resources through grants and highly concessional loans and $12 billion for developing countries to finance the purchase and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.
“The WBG, one of the largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries, is taking broad, fast action to help developing countries strengthen their pandemic response. It is supporting public health interventions, working to ensure the flow of critical supplies and equipment, and helping the private sector continue to operate and sustain jobs” the bank, maintained.
Similarly, the bank’s Board of Directors has approved $1.5 billion for two projects, including Nigeria’s COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus – Programme for Results (Nigeria CARES): This programme, the bank said, will help increase access to social transfers and basic services, as well as provide grants to poor and vulnerable households. It will also strengthen food supply chains for poor households while facilitating recovery and enhancing capabilities of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). This, the statement, added, is financed through an International Development Association (IDA) credit of $750 million.
The State Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability Programme for Results (SFTAS) Additional Financing: Building on the progress made across 36 states, the original SFTAS programme will be expanded and scaled up in response to COVID-19.
“The Additional Financing will help meet the financing gap in the Programme Expenditure Framework, due to the sharp reduction in government revenues associated with the crisis. It will help increase the efficiency in spending, strengthen revenue mobilisation, and enhance accountability and transparency in public resource management to further strengthen state-level COVID-19 response. The project is financed through an International Development Association (IDA) credit of $750 million’ the bank said.
World Bank Group (WBG) had earlier approved $1.5 billion social protection fund to help Nigeria build a resilient recovery post-COVID19.