Just over a year ago, the World Bank announced a COVID-19 response package of $160 billion to last until June 2021. In the midst of the pandemic, with most countries under heavy lockdowns and most development professionals working from home, the bank had to adapt and step up to the challenge of supporting countries across multiple fronts.
There was “a lot of excitement about the opportunity to contribute to the response [and] at the same time it ended up being a very intense and heavy workload with projects being prepared at unprecedented speed. This came on top of a large portfolio of health projects [the bank] was already implementing or preparing” said Magnus Lindelow, World Bank practice manager for health, nutrition, and population in the Africa region.
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