The World Bank's Board of Executive Directors has approved a USD 500 million program to support India's nationwide initiative to revitalize the MSME sector, which has been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. The MSME sector is the backbone of the India's economy, contributing 30% of India’s GDP and 4% of exports. Out of some 58 million MSMEs in India, more than 40 percent lack access to formal sources of finance. "The MSME sector in India faces several challenges. There is need to strengthen access to formal sources of financial and non-financial services, including of women headed MSMEs, and strengthen coordination in the national and state MSME support programs. Given the magnitude and geographical spread across the country, direct interventions can be prohibitively costly," said Peter Mousley, Lead Private Sector Specialist and World Bank's Task Team Leader for the program.