The World Bank has approved $20 million from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) for the Turkmenistan COVID-19 Response Project. The financing will reinforce the country’s response efforts and preparedness against the health and social risks of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In particular, the World Bank will support priority activities under the National Pandemic Preparedness and Response Plan, which strengthen country-level coordination, upgrade risk communication and community outreach, and reinforce testing, response capacities, infection prevention and control, and case management practices in health care facilities.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has posed an unprecedented threat to hard-won development gains around the world, including in Turkmenistan, calling for urgent and decisive actions,” said Jan-Peter Olters, World Bank Country Manager for Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. “By collaborating on the COVID-19 response, Turkmenistan will be better prepared to improve the quality of, and increase the access to, healthcare and adopt a more holistic approach to delivering health services effectively and inclusively.”
Turkmenistan will improve and upgrade its capacity to respond to COVID-19 with project activities focusing on strengthening and improving access to healthcare services and providing COVID-19-related care to all citizens, including vulnerable population groups. The proposed investments are expected to generate benefits beyond pandemic response, including by improving information systems to monitor infectious diseases, establishing a solid capacity for infection control in health facilities, and introducing innovations in provision of health services.
In addition, the project will support procurement of medical, diagnostic, waste management equipment, and critical supplies, such as testing kits, laboratory reagents, and medicine. Medical staff will receive training in COVID-19 care and infection prevention, as well as longer-term capacity-building in critical care provision. To support these efforts, the project will partner with other development partners, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and relevant UN agencies.
By procuring climate-smart laboratory technology, the project contributes to overarching climate change objectives. In the longer term the project will provide training activities for public health specialists to enhance their ability to detect future outbreaks, including those caused by climate-related diseases.
The Ministry of Health and Medical Industry and its Division for Sanitary and Epidemiological Safety and Control will play a key role in the coordination and implementation of project activities. The Government of Turkmenistan will partner with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) that will act as Project Implementing Entity.
The World Bank, one of the largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries, is taking broad, fast action to help developing countries respond to the health, social and economic impacts of COVID-19. This includes $12 billion to help low- and middle-income countries purchase and distribute COVID-19 vaccines, tests, and treatments, and strengthen vaccination systems. The financing builds on the broader World Bank Group COVID-19 response, which is helping more than 100 countries strengthen health systems, support the poorest households, and create supportive conditions to maintain livelihoods and jobs for those hit hardest.