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World Bank Approves $1.9 Billion for Covid-19 Affected Countries

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Joshua Nahamya

World Bank Group has launched the first operations for COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Emergency Health Support, Strengthening Developing Country Responses.

The approved projects worth 1.9billion US dollars for 25 countries for emergency response to COVID19 was done by the executive directors on Friday in Washington.

The first group of projects, amounting to $1.9 billion, will assist 25 countries, and new operations are moving forward in over 40 countries using the fast-track process.

According to David Malpass-the World Bank Group President, the broader economic program would provide up to $160 billion over next 15 months.

In addition, the World Bank is working worldwide to redeploy resources in existing World Bank financed projects worth up to $1.7 billion, including through restructuring, use of emergency components of existing projects (CERCs) and triggering of CAT DDOs and spanning every region.

Mr. Malpass says that the World Bank Group is prepared to deploy up to $160 billion over the next 15 months to support COVID-19 measures that will help countries respond to immediate health consequences of the pandemic and bolster economic recovery.

He says that the broader economic program will aim to shorten the time to recovery, create conditions for growth, support small and medium enterprises, and help protect the poor and vulnerable.

There will be a strong poverty focus in these operations, with an emphasis on policy-based financing, and protecting the poorest households and the environment”

The World Bank Group is taking broad, fast action to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and we already have health response operations moving forward in over 65 countries saidthe World Bank Group President David Malpass.

“We are working to strengthen developing nations’ ability to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and shorten the time to economic and social recovery. The poorest and most vulnerable countries will likely be hit the hardest, and our teams around the world remain focused on country-level and regional solutions to address the ongoing crisis.”Malpass explained

Responding to widespread supply chain disruptions, the World Bank is also helping countries access critically needed medical supplies by reaching out to suppliers on behalf of governments. The World Bank is also encouraging others to provide financial support to developing countries for the COVID-19 health response.

This fast response package will save lives and help detect, prevent and respond to COVID-19 in the countries we serve, saysAxel van Trotsenburg, World Bank Managing Director of Operations.

“Our country operations will be coordinated at a global level to ensure best practice is quickly shared, including approaches to strengthen national health systems and prepare for potential follow-on waves of this devastating virus.” Said Trotsenburg

Among the initial projects approved above include:   Africa: $82 million will help Ethiopia address critical needs for COVID-19 preparedness and response, including the provision of vital medical equipment, health system capacity-building, and support to establish treatment centers.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, $47 million will provide immediate support to put in place containment strategies, train medical staff and provide equipment to ensure rapid case detection and contact tracing.

  East Asia and the Pacific: In Mongolia, $26.9 million will help provide training for emergency care doctors, nurses, and paramedics; purchase medical and laboratory equipment and supplies; rehabilitate health care facilities; and strengthen the country’s capacity to respond to health crises. In Cambodia, $20 million will help establish laboratories and isolation and treatment centers in 25 provincial referral hospitals and equip them with essential medical and testing supplies.

 Europe and Central Asia: In Tajikistan, $11.3 million will help expand intensive care capacity through equipment, supplies, and training, as well as supporting coordination with the public. The most vulnerable households will also be protected through temporary social assistance. In the Kyrgyz Republic, $12.15 million will help boost the capacity of rapid-response teams, hospitals and laboratories by providing medical and laboratory supplies, ICU equipment, and preparedness funds for hospitals among other states.

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