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COVID-19 Response: World Bank Lends PH a US$500M Loan

The World Bank Group approved a US$500 million loan for the Philippines to cope with the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The World Bank’s Board of Directors approved US$500 million in financing to help strengthen the Philippine government’s capacity to address disaster risks, respond to, and recover from natural disasters.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has badly hurt millions of poor and vulnerable Filipino families, particularly daily wage earners,” said Achim Fock, World Bank acting country director for Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said in a statement, the loan will support efforts to provide immediate relief to poor Filipinos and small business workers who have lost their jobs during the lockdown since mid-March.

The government is currently in the process of strengthening the Philippines’ institutional framework for disaster risk management through the creation of a new department for Disaster Risk and Resilience.

“The World Bank is committed to supporting efforts to strengthen the Philippines’ capacity to prepare for and respond to natural disasters as well as health and economic shocks like COVID-19,” said Achim Fock, World Bank Acting Country Director for Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand. “Natural disasters and pandemics disproportionately hurt poor families and communities. Enhancing risk management and the capacity to address these challenges can help ensure that the Philippines can sustain progress in poverty reduction.”

The World Bank has expressed its solidarity with the people of the Philippines and is working closely with the authorities to support action to address the unfolding COVID-19 emergency through financial support and just-in-time technical assistance.