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PH comes out as top World Bank borrower but has one of the worst COVID-19 responses

According to the annual report, the Philippines had an output gap of 8.4 percent—the economic potential before the pandemic against the performance amid the health crisis

Out of all the countries that got wrecked by the pandemic, the Philippines became the top borrower of the World Bank in 2021, with $3.07 billion being granted in loans.

Another reason for the lending was to help boost the country’s economy, which is currently one of the worst in the East Asia and Pacific region.

Last year, the World Bank’s lending arm, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), only lent $1.87 billion.

According to the annual report, the Philippines had an output gap of 8.4 percent—the economic potential before the pandemic against the performance amid the health crisis.

The loan covers extended loans for the Philippines’ healthcare and vaccine financing, conditional cash transfers, customs modernization, disaster resilience and recovery, peace-building in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, and various agriculture projects.

Despite being the biggest borrower, the Philippines ranked last in the Nikkei COVID-19 Recovery Index.

Among 120 countries, the Philippines ranked the lowest in the following metrics:

  • Infection management
  • Confirmed cases of COVID-19 versus peak case count
  • Confirmed cases per capita
  • Tests per case
  • Vaccine rollouts
  • Total vaccine doses are given per capita
  • New vaccine doses are given per capita
  • Share of people who have been fully vaccinated
  • Mobility
  • Community mobility
  • Oxford stringency index
  • Flight activities

Bloomberg previously also ranked the Philippines last among 53 countries regarding economic resiliency to the health crisis.

Written by Gianni Russo

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