World Bank not considering new China loans to fight coronavirus
WASHINGTON : The World Bank is offering technical assistance to China to help battle the coronavirus epidemic but no new loans, the development lender's president, Mr David Malpass, said on Monday.
Mr Malpass said the bank was working with the World Health Organisation to aid China, including offering advice about past health crises, but did not plan any financial assistance because China has ample resources of its own.
"My thought is that we all wish them a speedy way to address the coronavirus in China," he said.
"We've offered technical assistance in the area of health, sanitation and disease policies."
The World Bank has some US$470 billion (S$652 billion) in assets and counts China among its largest borrowers, with $14.8 billion in loans committed since 2011. China is also the bank's third largest shareholder after the United States and Japan.
"China has its own large international reserves" and new loans are not being considered at this time, said Mr Malpass, who took over as World Bank president last April.
China reported that it held US$3.1 trillion in foreign exchange reserves last month.
Mr Malpass said the World Bank's experts were in discussions with Chinese authorities and could provide immediate assistance on disease surveillance, food safety, lessons from previous pandemics and analysis of the outbreak's impact on China's economy. - REUTERS