This paper presents the World Bank Group's (WBG) approach to COVID-19 crisis response including thematic areas and policy priorities based on its comparative advantages, as well as the operational and financial frameworks for scaling up impact in a world transformed by the coronavirus. It also summarizes the Bank Group’s contribution to building the critical global coalition needed to flatten the curve of the pandemic and steepen the curve of recovery. While operational risks for the WBG are high in an uncertain environment in which the coronavirus continues to spread and cures remain elusive, the risks of inaction are immeasurably higher. Speed, agility, adaptive learning, flexibility and mid-course adjustments will be critical.
As COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc across the world, the WBG is stepping up exceptional and selective support to help client countries in the relief and restructuring stages, and to regain momentum on the longer-term development agenda by Rebuilding Better. US$160 billion in financial support will be delivered over the 15-month period from April 2020 through June 2021. Further exceptional support will be needed beyond FY21.
WBG support focuses on helping countries address the crisis and transition to recovery through a combination of
- saving lives threatened by the pandemic
- protecting the poor and vulnerable
- securing foundations of the economy
- and strengthening policies and institutions for resilience based on transparent, sustainable debt and investments.