The global fight against the COVID-19 crisis continues as countries face shockwaves beyond their health systems to their economies as well. This week, the World Bank Group has announced the first group of projects, to assist 25 countries through fast-track emergency operations to stem the pandemic.
- The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved emergency support operations for developing countries around the world using a dedicated fast-track facility for COVID-19 (coronavirus) response. The first group of projects, amounting to $1.9 billion, will assist 25 countries, and new operations are moving forward in over 40 countries.
- If current reported cases and deaths numbers are difficult to interpret, how can countries, especially in the developing world, prepare to confront the pandemic? Ideally, one would like to be able to predict the course of the pandemic over time.
- The region’s countries now have an opportunity to come together to remove tariffs on medical devices, protective gear, disinfectants, and soap, and they have started to do so. Short-term collaboration to fight the pandemic could bring longer-term benefits.
- Handwashing with soap is one of the most important things we can do to slow human-to-human transmission of COVID-19 in our communities. But this simple method to avoid spreading disease remains out of reach for about 3 billion people globally who don’t have access to soap and water in their homes – especially in Sub-Saharan Africa.