The World Bank has approved a $1 billion package for India to provide support for its poor and vulnerable populations, it announced in a news release.
The funding will be distributed in two installments -- $750 million for the 2020 fiscal year and $250 million for the 2021 fiscal year.The nationwide program will be implemented through the existing Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (Prime Minister’s Welfare for the Poor Scheme) and help boost cash transfers and food benefits through other pre-existing programs to benefit the most vulnerable, especially migrant and informal workers.
“The response to the Covid-19 pandemic around the world has required governments to introduce social distancing and lock downs in unprecedented ways. These measures, intended to slow down the spread of the virus have, however, impacted economies and jobs -- especially in the informal sector," said Junaid Ahmad, the World Bank Country Director in India.
"India, with the world’s largest lockdown, has not been an exception to this trend. In this context, cash transfers and food benefits will help the poor and vulnerable access a ‘safety bridge’ towards a time when the economy will start to revive."
Last month, the World Bank announced a separate $1 billion in emergency response support for India's health sector