“The World Bank (WB) will provide an $80 million financial support package to Georgia to help the Government’s efforts to mitigate and address the health and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the WB announced today.
As the official statement reads, “the support is provided under the World Bank’s Fast Track COVID-19 Facility (FTCF). The World Bank is also collaborating with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank to provide an additional $100 million under a joint co-finance arrangement.”
“The objective is to finance measures that help prevent, detect and respond to the threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and provide immediate social protection support to the most vulnerable. It is expected to benefit the population at large, and in particular, the infected people and at-risk populations such as the elderly and people with chronic conditions, as well as medical and emergency personnel. Health-related emergency COVID-19 response measures include case detection and confirmation, increased testing, as well as health system strengthening for case management,” the WB stated.
The World Bank noted that “the project will provide income support to the poor and vulnerable households by scaling-up of the Targeted Social Assistance program and providing temporary cash transfers to workers who lost jobs due to the pandemic.”
“We estimate that the total WBG financing package for Georgia COVID-19 response will be approximately $200 million in new financing, in addition to the approximately $300 million funds in our pipeline for 2020-2021 for projects in support of broader development needs, such as digital connectivity and infrastructure,” Sebastian Molineus, World Bank Regional Director for the South Caucasus stressed.
Ivane Matchavariani, Minister of Finance of Georgia thanked the World Bank for “that tremendous support” and “emphasized the role of the World Bank in the preparation of this program, as well as in the development of a country in general.”
In addition to the direct support for Georgia’s response to COVID-19, the World Bank says it “intends to support the country’s broader development needs, such as digital connectivity and infrastructure through the upcoming “Log-In Georgia” project, which will support the Government’s plan to connect more than 700 villages to the internet via fiber optic cable networks, that will boost remote learning and overall connectivity essential for livelihoods hampered by pandemic-required social distancing.”