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Centre, World Bank ink USD 400 million project to support poor from COVID-19 impact

Thursday, 17 Dec 2020
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The government of India and the World Bank inked USD 400 million project to support India’s efforts at providing social assistance to the poor and vulnerable households, severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 
This is the second operation in a programmatic series of two. The first operation of USD 750 million was approved in May 2020. 
The programme will strengthen capability of national and state governments to provide coordinated and adequate social protection to the poor and vulnerable from the shocks triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. 
This programme will help further expand and deepen the coverage of India’s social protection systems by helping vulnerable groups in urban and peri-urban areas across the country. 
Early results from tracking the first operation through a representative household survey across India highlights strengths and challenges of India’s social protection system. 
The second accelerating India's COVID-19 Social Protection Response Programme signed will build on the shifts that the first operation has achieved.
The second operation will complement the expansion of India’s safety net programmes to create a portable social protection platform ensuring food and cash support for poor households, urban migrants, and unorganised sector workers across state boundaries. 
The new operation will allow flexibility for state governments to cater to their contexts, while ensuring that the needs of migrants, informal workers and the urban poor are addressed. 
The proposed reforms will allow states to access flexible funding from disaster response funds to design and implement appropriate social protection responses to COVID-19 and future disasters. 
The programme was prepared in collaboration with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and Kreditanstalt Fur Wiederaufbau (KfW). 
The USD 400 million credit is from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s concessionary lending arm.
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