World Bank approves $37m for COVID-19 response in Malawi

The World Bank, on Wednesday, April 15, approved $37 million (about K27 billion) in support for COVID-19 response in Malawi.

In a press statement issued by World Bank Country Manager for Malawi, Greg Toulmin, $7 million (about K5 billion) will support an initiative under a new Malawi COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness project.

$30 million (about K22 billion) has been made available from the Disaster Risk Management Development Policy Financing with a Catastrophe Deferred Drawdown Option (Cat-DDO) to strengthen the country’s response to the pandemic.

According to the statement, $7 million will go towards detection, surveillance, response and system strengthening activities while $30 million will support a broad range of economic policy initiatives and smooth out the macro-economic shocks that COVID-19 is expected to impose on the government finances.

Toulmin said: “The COVID-19 pandemic is challenging both Malawi’s economy and its fragile health system and this funding will therefore support the government ‘s economic policy response by mitigating likely  revenue shortfalls as well as helping to address critical care needs for COVID-19 response.”

The World Bank Group is helping countries to strengthen their pandemic response, increase disease surveillance, improve public health interventions and help the private sector continue to operate and sustain jobs.

The Bank is deploying up to $160 billion in financial support over the next 15 months to help countries protect the poor and vulnerable, support businesses, and bolster economic recovery.

President Peter Mutharika announced that the country will implement a 21-day lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus a development which is likely going to worsen our economy.

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