World Bank's $500m coronavirus push 'too late' for poor countries, experts say

Bank accused of ‘waiting for people to die’ as bonds designed to provide fast funding for pandemics are censured as ‘obscene’

A flagship $500m World Bank scheme to help the poorest countries deal with a health emergency is “too little too late” for the coronavirus outbreak, say health experts.

The first pandemic emergency financing (PEF) bonds were launched in 2017 by Jim Yong Kim, the bank’s president at the time, after the Ebola outbreak in west Africa. Designed to potentially “save millions of lives and entire economies” by speedily funnelling money to nations facing pandemics.

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