WASHINGTON, March 18, 2021 — The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved financing of US$150 million for the Jamaica COVID-19 Response and Recovery Development Policy Loan. This quick-disbursing financing helps the government protect the poor and vulnerable, support sustainable business growth and job creation, and strengthen policies and institutions for resilient recovery.

“COVID-19 has had widespread socio-economic impacts and affected every Jamaican, especially the most vulnerable. This financing contributes to Jamaica’s efforts to manage the impact of the crisis and move forward towards a resilient recovery. The operation supports the expansion of the country’s social protection programs to benefit women and men disproportionately affected by the crisis and introduces a social pension for the elderly. It also supports measures for the recovery of affected businesses,” said Ozan Sevimli, World Bank Resident Representative for Jamaica and Guyana.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to Jamaica’s deepest economic contraction in decades due in part to the drop in tourism earnings, which account for more than 30 percent of Gross Domestic Product, and one third of jobs. This new loan supports the government in providing emergency financial assistance to the vulnerable population impacted by the pandemic. It also includes initiatives to help firms cope with the economic shock, such as through measures such as the provision of grants and cash transfers to affected businesses.

The operation supports reforms to strengthen financial institutions for sustainable economic recovery and greater climate resilience. The financing supports Jamaica’s climate change priorities, including the adoption of stronger commitments on greenhouse gas emissions.

World Bank Group COVID-19 Response

The World Bank Group, one of the largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries, is taking broad, fast action to help developing countries strengthen their pandemic response. We are supporting public health interventions, working to ensure the flow of critical supplies and equipment, and helping the private sector continue to operate and sustain jobs. We will be deploying up to $160 billion in financial support over 15 months to help more than 100 countries protect the poor and vulnerable, support businesses, and bolster economic recovery. This includes $50 billion of new IDA resources through grants and highly concessional loans.

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