Zimbabwe is set to get up to US$7 million from the World Bank to fight Covid-19 pandemic despite being in arrears with the Washington-based lender.
The bank will mobilise US$5 million from its Global Financing Facility Trust Fund to support the nation’s health response to the outbreak and redirect about US$2 million from its ongoing Zimbabwe Idai Recovery Project to support affected communities, a World Bank spokesperson said in an emailed response to questions.
The support will come from the bank’s trust funds and partners because Zimbabwe is not up to date on its debt-service obligations and is therefore not eligible to access funds through the bank’s regular financing channels.
“We recognise this is a global crisis that impacts every country and we cannot leave anyone behind,” the World Bank said.
It said its existing multi-donor Zimbabwe Reconstruction Fund technical assistance programme is now focused on supporting the Government’s emergency-response efforts.
Finance and Economic Development Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube, wrote to multilateral lenders, including the International Monetary Fund, seeking assistance on April 2.
More than half of the population needs food aid, the economy is strained even before the impact of the global coronavirus pandemic and the country’s health service is facing challenges, he said. — Bloomberg.