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Signage for the World Bank in Washington, DC, USA. (Photo: WIC News)

World Bank mobilises US$29 billion to support LAC region during pandemic

Signage for the World Bank in Washington, DC, USA. (Photo: WIC News)

The World Bank Group says in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic it has deployed a record US$29.1 billion to the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region since the onset of the crisis.

“Latin America and the Caribbean was the region hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, with 20 per cent of global cases and a third of global deaths”

— Carlos Felipe Jaramillo, World Bank vice-president — Latin America and the Caribbean

The institution indicated that since the start of the pandemic in April last year, through the financial year that ended in June 2021, the funds were used to assist the region with the health, economic, and social impacts of the pandemic, as well as strengthen its response to challenges such as hurricanes and migration.

Pointing out that this is the fastest and largest crisis response of any such period in the group’s history, it said the pandemic has severely damaged the lives and livelihoods of millions of people in the LAC region.

World Bank Group vice-president for the LAC Carlos Felipe Jaramillo said, “Latin America and the Caribbean was the region hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, with 20 per cent of global cases and a third of global deaths. The high infection rates and sharply contracting growth have had devastating social and economic impacts.”

Carlos Felipe Jaramillo, World Bank vice-president — Latin America (Photo: World Bank)

The group’s commitments and mobilisations during this period included a combined US$14.5 billion from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA); US$10.8 billion from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to promote private sector-led sustainable development; and US$3.8 billion in guarantees by the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA).

The World Bank said it’s financing and expertise this fiscal year focused on social protection, health emergencies, tests, vaccines, and strengthening countries’ health systems as well as record deployment of short-term finance during the first months of the pandemic to help the private sector stay afloat.

Signage of International Finance Corporation, a World Bank Group member organisation. in Washington, DC, USA, on March 4, 2017. (File photo)

Additionally, since April 2020 when the IFC kick-started its COVID-19 response, it has committed close to US$3.2 billion in liquidity support in the region. The IFC also helped expand lending to micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) so they can continue operations, supported export-oriented agri businesses in the region, and have worked with financial institutions to promote green financing.by Taboola