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Following the central bankers’ response to the deadly coronavirus (COVID-19) on Tuesday, the World Bank announced an initial package of up to $12 billion to help member countries take effective action against the pandemic during early Wednesday.

Key quotes

As COVID-19 reaches more than 60 countries, the World Bank Group is making available an initial package of up to $12 billion in immediate support to assist countries in coping with the health and economic impacts of the global outbreak.

Through this new fast track package, the World Bank Group will help developing countries strengthen health systems, including better access to health services to safeguard people from the epidemic, strengthen disease surveillance, bolster public health interventions, and work with the private sector to reduce the impact on economies. 

‘We are working to provide a fast, flexible response based on developing country needs in dealing with the spread of COVID-19,’ said World Bank Group President David Malpass. ‘This includes emergency financing, policy advice, and technical assistance, building on the World Bank Group’s existing instruments and expertise to help countries respond to the crisis.’

FX implications

Following the news, the market’s risk-off gained additional strength, which in turn propelled gold prices to one week high near $1,653, currently around $1,646.