Coronavirus: World Bank pledges $12bn aid package

Coronavirus: World Bank pledges $12bn aid package
World Bank President David MalpassImage copyright AFP
Image caption World Bank President David Malpass

The World Bank has committed $12bn (£9.4bn) in aid for lower income countries grappling with the spread of the coronavirus.

The emergency package includes low-cost loans, grants and technical assistance.

The action comes as leaders around the world pledge action to shield their countries from the economic impact of the outbreak.

It follows warnings that slowdown from the outbreak could tip countries into recession.

The aid is intended to help countries improve their public health response to the crisis, as well as work with the private sector to reduce the economic impact.

"What we're trying to do is limit the transmission of the disease," World Bank Group President David Malpass said.

The organisation said it would prioritise the poorest and most at-risk countries in distributing the aid to counter the effects of the virus, which has spread to more than 60 countries around the world.

Authorities have confirmed more than 92,000 cases of the virus of which more than 80,000 are in China. More than 3,000 people have died globally, the vast majority in China.

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