THE World Bank has given South Africa $750 million (R11.4 billion) in its fight against Covid-19.
The funds come as the country had been battling the fourth wave of the virus.
Minister of Health Joe Phaahla will give the latest developments on the virus today.
When Covid-19 broke out almost two years ago, the government injected a stimulus of billions of rand.
The National Treasury and the World Bank said the loan of $750m from the bank would help at a critical time in the country.
It would form part of the response that the government had initiated against Covid-19.
Director-General in the National Treasury Dondo Mogajane said the funds came at a critical time to address the social security net and other health challenges in the country.
“The World Bank budget support is coming at a critical time for us and will contribute towards addressing the financing gap stemming from additional spending in response to the Covid-19 crisis.
“It will assist in addressing the immediate challenge of financing critical health and social safety net programmes whilst also continuing to develop our economic reform agenda to build back better,” Mogajane said.
South Africa is the continent’s most industrialised economy and its poor economic performance would have an impact on the regional economies.
The economy was severely affected in the first few months after Covid-19, but it has gradually recovered with most of the businesses having opened.
World Bank country director for South Africa Marie Françoise Marie-Nelly said with the development policy loan (DPL) they have partnered with the government to get the economy going again.
“With this DPL, we have partnered with the government to provide much needed relief from the impacts of the most serious economic crisis South Africa has experienced in the past 90 years, while tackling long-standing challenges to growth and development.
“This support aims to put the country on a more resilient and inclusive growth path by leveraging South Africa’s strength to mitigate the effects of the Covid-19 crisis through their strong social safety net and by advancing critical economic reforms.
“This financing builds on our new World Bank Group Country Partnership Framework (CPF) 2022 – 2026, jointly developed with the government in July 2021, to help stimulate investment and job creation,” Marie-Nelly said.