By Emma Ujah, Abuja Bureau Chief
Washington DC (US)—The International Monetary Fund, IMF, and the World Bank Group have pledged their readiness to help member-countries tackle the challenges posed by the COVID-19 virus.
The pledge 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, yesterday.
According to the two institutions, their Rapid Financing Facilities can be quickly deployed to strengthen health surveillance, as well as, the provision of technical assistance and policy advice for affected member countries.
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 are 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 provide the support that people in our member countries expect from us.”