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World Bank excludes Nigeria from its $1.9bn COVID-19 response fund

Nigeria’s indebtedness to World Bank hits N3.6tn

The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors excluded Nigeria from the list of 25 countries that will benefit from its $1.9 billion first set of emergency support operations for nations that had been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The decision, the World Bank said in a statement, was reached by the board on Thursday and it was prepared to deploy about $160 billion in the next 15 months to help countries deal with the COVID-19 pandemic and quick economic recovery.

The statement read:

“The World Bank Group is prepared to deploy up to $160 billion over the next 15 months to support COVID-19 measures that will help countries respond to immediate health consequences of the pandemic and bolster economic recovery.

“The broader economic program will aim to shorten the time to recovery, create conditions for growth, support small and medium enterprises, and help protect the poor and vulnerable. There will be a strong poverty focus in these operations, with an emphasis on policy-based financing, and protecting the poorest households and the environment.”

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Also, the bank’s president, David Malpass, said the group was taking broad and fast action to reduce the spread of COVID-19 across the world.

He said: World Bank Group is taking broad, fast action to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and we already have health response operations moving forward in over 65 countries.

“We are working to strengthen developing nations’ ability to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and shorten the time to economic and social recovery. The poorest and most vulnerable countries will likely be hit the hardest, and our teams around the world remain focused on country-level and regional solutions to address the ongoing crisis.”

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