Students wearing face masks queue up at a school dining hall in Cotonou, Benin, May 11, 2020. (Photo by Seraphin Zounyekpe/Xinhua)

World Bank to grant Benin 50 mln USD to mitigate COVID-19 impacts

The World Bank will provide Benin with 50 million U.S. dollars to cope with socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a statement reaching Xinhua on Sunday in the economic capital Cotonou.

Approved by the World Bank Board of Directors on June 26 in Washington, the financial package is to “help Benin mitigate the impact of the coronavirus health crisis in the socio-economic recovery phase”, the statement read.

“This support will help bridge the gap in budgetary resources to meet basic social and productive sector needs,” said Atou Seck, World Bank Country Manager for Benin.

“The spread of the coronavirus has led to a decline in economic activities, the country’s economic growth but also the state’s revenues while it has to meet pressing needs,” he also said.

The support is drawn from International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank fund for the poorest.

It brought the total amount allocated by the World Bank to Benin to address the coronavirus health crisis to about 90 million U.S. dollars.

So far, Benin has reported 1,124 confirmed COVID-19 cases of which 815 patients are under treatment, 295 have recovered, while 14 died, since the country declared its first case on March 16.