Islamabad: the World Bank (WB) is considering increasing funding for Pakistan to $ 1 billion in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Illango Patchamuthu, Country Director Country Bank in Pakistan, said the funds will support the country’s health, employment, food and security sectors and small businesses.
“Every crisis presents an opportunity to reform the social sector policies. The World Bank has already approved $200 million funding for Pakistan.
“Funding of $150 million will help in immediate purchase of medical equipment and supplies. About $50 million as relief through Ehsaas cash transfers will help poor families.”
Wb said in a Sunday report that South Asia has the worst economic performance in 40 years, thanks to COVID-19, the progress that has been made in the fight against poverty in decades.
India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and other smaller countries (with a population of 1.8 billion, some of the most populous cities in the world) have reported relatively few cases of coronavirus so far, but experts fear it could be the next hot spot .
The terrible economic consequences are already evident: extensive closings have frozen most normal activities, orders from Western factories have been canceled and many poor workers have suddenly lost their jobs.