As part of measures to help cushion the effect of the COVID-19 health crisis, which has significantly encroached on the quality of life of people within Latin American and Caribbean nations, the World Bank Group disbursed an all-time high US$29.1 billion to that region from the beginning of the crisis (April 1, 2020) through the fiscal year 2021 (ending June 30, 2021).
The fund was made available to ensure that the various governments and private sector stakeholders are well equipped to fight the effects of the pandemic on all fronts – health, economy, and social life.
The funds were also deployed to make it easier for these countries to better respond to devasting natural disasters and manmade crises such as hurricanes and migration.
This marks the largest crisis response of any such period in the history of the World Bank Group.
This huge financial commitment was pulled together from various avenues, including US$14.5bn from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA); another US$10.8bn from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), to foster private sector-led sustainable development; and US$3.8bn in guarantees by the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA).
“Latin America and the Caribbean was the region hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, with 20% of global cases and a third of global deaths. The high infection rates and sharply contracting growth have had devastating social and economic impacts,” remarked Carlos Felipe Jaramillo, the lender’s Vice President for Latin America and the Caribbean.
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