NEW DELHI, May 16 — The World Bank will give India an additional US$1 billion (RM4.3 billion) to help the country in its battle against the Covid-19 pandemic, taking its total commitment to US$2 billion.
Last month, the bank had offered funds to assist India’s health sector in combating the coronavirus.
The new funding will be available in two tranches, with US$750 million being provided immediately and US$250 million to be disbursed next year.
The money will be used to support efforts to provide social assistance to the poor and vulnerable households which have been hit hard by the lockdown, according to a statement by India’s Finance Ministry on Friday.
“Social protection is a critical investment since half of India’s population earns less than US$3 a day and are precariously close to the poverty line.
“Over 90 per cent of India’s workforce are employed in the informal sector, without access to significant savings or workplace-based social protection benefits such as paid sick leave or social insurance,” it said.
India’s total coronavirus positive cases have reached 85,000, and the pandemic has claimed more than 2,700 lives to-date. — Bernama