The World Bank on Tuesday announced an initial $12 billion in immediate funds to assist countries grappling with the health and economic impacts of the coronavirus virus outbreak that has spread quickly from China to over 60 countries.
World Bank President David Malpass said there were still “many unknowns” about the fast-spreading virus and “much more “ aid might be required, but he declined to elaborate.
Malpass called on countries to coordinate their actions on a regional and international level, saying the speed and breadth of the response would be critical to saving lives.
About $4 billion of the funding will be reprogrammed from other Bank instruments, officials said.
The Bank said its International Finance Corporation will work with commercial bank clients to expand trade finance and working capital lines as countries scramble to get needed supplies to contain the virus.
The IFC will also work with corporate clients in strategic sectors such as medical equipment and pharmaceuticals to sustain supply chains and limit downside risks.