Baku, February 19, AZERTAC
In order to support countries in Latin America and the Caribbean affected by the Zika virus outbreak, the World Bank Group announced that it has made US$150 million immediately available.
This amount is based on current country demands for financing and follows extensive engagement with governments across the region, including sending teams of technical experts to affected countries, WB said on its website. If additional financing is needed, the World Bank Group stands ready to increase its support.
This announcement was accompanied by the release of initial projections that the short-term economic impact of the Zika virus on the region will be modest, totaling US$3.5 billion, or 0.06% of GDP in 2016. The World Bank Group noted, however, that these initial estimates are predicated on a swift, well-coordinated international response to the Zika virus. They also assume that the most significant health risks—and related behaviors to avoid transmission—are for pregnant women. This follows the World Health Organization’s February 1 declaration of the suspected link between Zika virus infection during pregnancy and microcephaly in newborns.