The World Bank Group comprising the IDA, IBRD and IFC will provide financing for developing countries as immediate support to assist the countries coping with the health and economic impacts of the global outbreak.
The World Bank Group has said that the financing package “will help developing countries strengthen their health systems, including ensuring better access to health services, to safeguard people from the epidemic, strengthen disease surveillance, bolster public health interventions, and work with the private sector to reduce the impact on economies”.
The countries in Sub-Saharan Africa have so far been spared the brunt of the epidemic but it is still early days to say whether they have dodged the bullet. The governments are urged to engage the World Bank Group to see how they can be assisted in getting such support given the vulnerable health systems in countries like Zambia, Malawi and Zimbabwe. It is also not clear how this financial assistance will be treated given the already existing trade embargoes on countries like Zimbabwe, Venezuela and Iran. especially given that the proliferation of the virus does not follow the dictates of man made embargoes and sanctions.