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World Bank pledges $12B to help developing nations fight COVID-19

The money will go toward emergency financing, policy advice and technical assistance, the World Bank said. File Photo by Shawn Thew/EPA-EFE<br><br><br>
The money will go toward emergency financing, policy advice and technical assistance, the World Bank said. File Photo by Shawn Thew/EPA-EFE


March 4 (UPI) -- The World Bank has pledged $12 billion in aid for developing nations to fight the coronavirus, hoping it will help slow the virus' worldwide spread.

The World Bank announced the support plan on Tuesday, which includes loans, grants and technical assistance in repelling the viral disease, called COVID-19.

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"We are working to provide a fast, flexible response based on developing country needs in dealing with the spread of COVID-19," World Bank Group President David Malpass said in a statement. "This includes emergency financing, policy advice, and technical assistance, building on the World Bank Group's existing instruments and expertise to help countries respond to the crisis."

The Overseas Development Institute said in an analysis last month the countries facing the greatest economic risk from the virus are Sri Lanka, Vietnam and the Philippines. The report said sub-Saharan Africa could lose up to $4 billion in exports because of the coronavirus impact in China.

"The World Bank support will cover a range of interventions to strengthen health services and primary health care, bolster disease monitoring and reporting, train front line health workers, encourage community engagement to maintain public trust, and improve access to treatment for the poorest patients."

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Total new business in China has fallen at the largest rate on record, with the virus and various restrictions hampering demand for domestic and overseas products. Canceled export orders and travelers opting to stay away from China are the driving forces behind the decline, experts say.

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