As the coronavirus pandemic sweeps the globe and threatens to devour humanity, the governments around the world have announced aid packages for their citizens to help survive the scourge.
According to the World Health Organization, over 500,000 people were infected with across 200 countries while over 20,000 have perished and their numbers are fast rising.
Here are some countries that have announced aid packages to tide over the hard times.
India: $32.3 billion
On March 26, India announced a $32.3 billion financial package, which includes direct cash transfers and free food, to help the nation’s poor amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Some activists, however, claimed that it may not be enough in a country where over half the population is poor. The amount works out to a little over one percent of GDP, much less than what many other countries announced. As per the terms, some 800 million people will receive five kg of free wheat or rice and one kg of free pulses per month. Poor farmers will get Rs2,000 and free gas cylinders, while health workers will get medical insurance cover of up to Rs50 lakhs.
United States: $2 trillion
The US Senate approved a $2 trillion relief package on March 25 to alleviate the effects of the economic downturn as a result of the pandemic. The plan marks the largest rescue package in American history. It covers a wide array of programs, including direct payments to Americans, aggressive of unemployment insurance, billions of dollars in aid to large and small businesses, and significant funding for the health care industry.
United Kingdom: £544 million
The UK government announced a raft of financial measures to help businesses under strain from the coronavirus outbreak. The UK has pledged £544 million, which makes it the biggest contributor to Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) – the international coalition to find a vaccine. On March 17, Finance Minister Rishi Sunak announced a $398 billion loans and guarantees to help Britain cope with the lockdown of a vast swatch of the economy. It was the fourth emergency package the UK had announced since March 11. On
Germany: $814 billion
The German parliament approved an $814 billion aid package on March 25 to help the economy recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. A debt ceiling that limits annual government borrowing was suspended in a separate vote on the same day, which will now allow it to borrow additional €156 billion in 2020 as part of the package. The coronavirus spending plans received broad support in parliament. The measures will now move on to the upper house of parliament, the Bundesrat, and are expected to be voted into law on March 27.
China: $71 billion
China’s central bank has increased available loans to banks by 500 billion yuan ($71 billion) and lowered bank reserve requirements, freeing up 550 billion yuan in cash to be lent out. Interest rates for banks and large corporations were slashed and Beijing has also asked banks to extend the terms of business loans and landlords to reduce rents on commercial properties.
France: €45 billion
Last week, France’s finance minister announced a €45 billion aid package for businesses and workers. He said that more economic support are on the way. Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said that France’s national debt will exceed 100% of GDP in 2020, significantly above the EU’s guideline of 60% as a result of the coronavirus pledge.
The European Commission has suspended debt and deficit requirements for member-states to give economically less stable countries, like Italy, more room to fight Covid-19. The European Central Bank announced the “Pandemic Emergency Purchase Program,” a €750 billion bond-buying scheme to provide EU members with increased liquidity.
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