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Coronavirus: World Bank, IMF to support Nigeria, other countries



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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank have shown concern and preparedness in assisting member countries to deal with the challenges posed by the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19 virus).

This was announced in a joint press statement issued by the Managing Director of the IMF, Ms Kristalina Georgieva and the President of the World Bank, Mr David Malpass in Washington DC, United States of America.

The institutions pledged to use all necessary and available instruments including emergency financing, policy advice, and technical assistance to assist nations, especially poor countries in handling the outbreak.

The statement read: “The IMF and the World Bank Group stand ready to help our member countries address the human tragedy and economic challenge posed by the COVID-19 virus. We have engaged actively with international institutions and country authorities, with special attention to poor countries where health systems are the weakest and people are most vulnerable.

“We will use our available instruments to the fullest extent possible, including emergency financing, policy advice, and technical assistance. In particular, we have rapid financing facilities that, collectively, can help countries respond to a wide range of needs. The strengthening of country health surveillance and response systems is crucial to contain the spread of this and any future outbreaks.

“International cooperation is essential to deal with the health and economic impact of the COVID-19 virus. The IMF and the World Bank Group are fully committed to providing the support that people in our member countries expect from us.”

Global impact of Coronavirus: As of Monday, there were over 89,000 cases of the virus, the majority in China, according to a Reuters tally. Outside of China, it has spread to 66 countries, with more than 8,800 cases and 130 deaths. Globally, the illness has killed over 3,000 people.

Although the risk of a global spread and impact of the coronavirus is now very high, the World Health Organisation insists that containment is still possible.