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Poorest countries finally set to get World Bank pandemic bond funds

Four months after the start of the coronavirus outbreak, financial assistance from the World Bank’s pandemic bonds is about to find its way to poor countries to help them fight Covid-19.

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The World Bank on Monday formally set aside $195.84 million from its pandemic emergency financing facility (PEF) for 64 poor countries to help in their fight against the coronavirus Covid-19 outbreak that began in China on December 31.

The move brings to a formal end the four-month wait to see whether and how the World Bank’s pandemic bonds and swaps, which supply the funds to the PEF through loss of principal, would pay out.

Independent calculation agent AIR Worldwide had already determined on April 17 that the bonds had been triggered, with the last remaining requirement – an exponential growth rate in cases in poor countries – having finally been met. That assessment followed an earlier finding that the growth rate had not met the required level at the first opportunity.

Even now the money has not yet begun to flow to the countries that will need it.