The World Bank said today that it will provide Mexico with more than $205 million to fight the deadly swine flu which broke out last week.
President of World Bank, Robert B. Zoellick, made the announcement together with Mexico's Finance Minister, Agustin Carstens at the closing press conference of World Bank/IMF spring meetings.
Our first, second, and third focus is on people's health and lives, said Zoellick. He explained that the World Bank is also helping Mexico with the lessons learned from other similar experiences in fighting SARS and Avian Flu.
There $25 million will be re-directed to this purpose from the ongoing Mexico health project to purchase medicine and equipment to detect and fight the virus.
And in addition, the World Bank has also started the preparation of a $180 million project under a Global Facility for Avian Influenza to support the Mexico government.
We are extremely grateful for the prompt response by the World Bank and such prompt response is always very, very appreciated, said, Carstens, the Mexico's finance minister.
But beyond that, what is also important is all the experience that the World Bank has accumulated in precisely having assisted other countries in this type of situation. he added.
The project will be fast-tracked so that funds can be disbursed within 3-5 weeks.
The World Bank will also help Mexico in assessing the impact of the economy crisis in order to ensure that the effects of the outbreak will be controlled.