The World Bank approved today a grant of $7.5 million from the International Development Association (IDA)* to help the Central African Republic respond to the threat posed by the Coronavirus outbreak and strengthen national systems for public health preparedness.
The COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Project will provide immediate support to the Central African Republic to prevent the spread of COVID-19 through containment strategies and by strengthening the public health emergency response for a potential outbreak. The project will bring in essential medical supplies and drugs, testing kits, personal protective equipment for frontline health workers, and water and hygiene supplies for the population. In addition, it will help strengthen the coordination and support for preparedness, train health workers, and carry out risk communication campaigns and community outreach.
“For fragile countries like the Central African Republic, it is particularly important to strengthen the health system and support the frontline health workers in their response. This support has been fast tracked to help the country respond to the threat of the Coronavirus outbreak and a large amount of the funding will be disbursed in the first months,” said Jean-Christophe Carret, Country Director for the Central African Republic.
The World Bank Group is taking broad, fast action to help developing countries strengthen their pandemic response, increase disease surveillance, improve public health interventions, and help the private sector continue to operate and sustain jobs. It is deploying up to $160 billion in financial support over the next 15 months to help countries protect the poor and vulnerable, support businesses, and bolster economic recovery.
* The International Development Association (IDA) is the World Bank’s fund for the poorest. Established in 1960, it provides grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 76 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. IDA resources help effect positive change in the lives of the 1.6 billion people living in the countries that are eligible for its assistance. Since its inception, IDA has supported development work in 113 countries. Annual commitments are constantly on the rise and have averaged $21 billion over the past three years, with about 61% going to Africa.