New Delhi: India on Wednesday signed a pact worth $400 million with the World Bank in a bid to aid the poor and vulnerable reeling under the coronavirus crisis.
This is the second operation in a programmatic series of two as the first operation of $750 million was approved in May 2020. The $400 million credit has been extended by World Bank’s concessionary lending arm International Development Association (IDA).
According to the officials, the programme will strengthen the capability of state and national governments in India to provide coordinated and adequate social protection to the poor and vulnerable from the shocks triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The agreement was signed by Dr CS Mohapatra, Additional Secretary of the Department of Economic Affairs, on behalf of the Government of India and Sumila Gulyani, Acting Country Director, India, on behalf of the World Bank.
“In support of this process, the first operation by the World Bank followed the government’s lead to scale up pre-existing programmes for emergency relief. This second operation will complement the expansion of India’s safety net programmes to create a portable social protection platform ensuring food and cash support for poor households, urban migrants, and unorganised sector workers across state boundaries,” the Finance Ministry said.
Given the continent-like size and heterogeneity in India, the post COVID-19 economic shocks are likely to manifest itself differently at the sub-national, community and household levels, it added.
The programme was prepared in collaboration with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD) and Kreditanstalt Fur Wiederaufbau (KFW), it added.