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India gets 1-billion dollor World Bank loan to fight Covid

India gets 1-billion dollor World Bank loan to fight Covid
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This is 2nd loan from multilateral lending agency; It will soon announce financial programme for MSMEs
Highlights

The World Bank on Friday approved a $1 billion loan to support India's efforts for providing social assistance to the poor and vulnerable households, severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic

New Delhi: The World Bank on Friday approved a $1 billion loan to support India's efforts for providing social assistance to the poor and vulnerable households, severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. The "Accelerating India's COVID-19 Social Protection Response Program" will support the government's efforts towards a more consolidated delivery platform – accessible to both rural and urban populations across state boundaries.

This takes the total commitment from the World Bank towards emergency Covid-19 response in India to $2 billion. A $1 billion support was announced last month towards immediate support to India's health sector.

The multilateral lending agency is also in discussions with the government to provide assistance to the country's micro, small and medium enterprises, said World Bank Country Director in India Junaid Ahmad in a webinar with media. The response to the Covid-19 pandemic around the world has required governments to introduce social distancing and lockdowns in unprecedented ways, he said. These measures, intended to slowdown the spread of the virus have, however, impacted economies and jobs – especially in the informal sector.

India with the world's largest lockdown has not been an exception to this trend. Of the $1 billion commitment, $550 million will be financed by a credit from the International Development Association (IDA) – the World Bank's concessionary lending arm and $200 million will be a loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), with a final maturity of 18.5 years including a grace period of five years. The remaining $250 million will be made available after June 30, 2020.

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