- The World Bank has announced N31.2 billion ($82 million) to support Nigeria’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Announcing the support in a statement, the bank said it is moving quickly to provide fast and flexible support to help Nigeria and other African countries in mitigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic by providing direct and long-term financial support over the next 15 months.
It said: “In Nigeria, the World Bank has already made $82 million available for immediate support in strengthening the public health response through the Regional Disease Surveillance Systems Enhancement Project, REDISSE. “In addition, the World Bank has been asked to provide a multi-pronged package of support over the next six months to strengthen the country’s preparedness for the immediate health crisis and provide the Federal Government with budget support for a pro-poor stimulus package and the long-term recovery.
Disclosing this in a statement yesterday, the IMF boss said: “Nigeria’s economy is being threatened by the twin shocks of the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated sharp fall in international oil prices.”
President Buhari’s administration is taking a number of measures aimed at containing the spread of the virus and its impact, including by swiftly releasing contingency funds to Nigeria’s Center for Disease Control and working on an economic stimulus package that will help provide relief for households and businesses impacted by the downturn.
“To support these efforts, Nigeria’s government has requested financial assistance under the Fund’s Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI). This emergency financing would allow the government to address additional and urgent balance of payments needs and support policies that would make it possible to direct funds for priority health expenditures and protect the most vulnerable people and firms. We are working hard to respond to this request so that a proposal can be considered by the IMF’s Executive Board as soon as possible.”