Luanda, Angola, 29 June 2022: The Government of Angola, through the Ministry of Health together with the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Angola, signed the financing and cooperation agreements for the implementation of the Resilience in Health Project in the framework of COVID-19, 2022 – 2023, following two years of development and negotiations. The deal valued at about 55 million Euros was signed by Her Excellency the Minister of Health, Dr. Silvia Lutucuta, by the EIB Representative, Mr. Diederick Zambon, Head of the Public Sector and Sovereign Operations Division for Sub-Saharan Africa and by the UNDP Resident Representative, Dr. Edo Stork, in Luanda, Angola.
Based on the concept note prepared by the Ministry of Health, in collaboration and with technical support from UNDP, WHO, EIB and the European Union Delegation, the project was approved by EIB for financing in March 2021.
The official signing ceremony was attended by the Secretary of State for Public Health, Dr. Franco Cazembe Mufinda, the EU Ambassador to Angola, Dr. Jeannette Seppen, the WHO and UNICEF Resident Representatives, Dr. Djamila Cabral and Ivan Yerovi, the UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, Dr. Soahangy Mamisoa Rangers, the USAID Mission Director, representatives of the Ministry of Finance, among other development partners.
“Today’s ceremony marks the excellent cooperation between the EIB and the Republic of Angola and also between our two institutions, UNDP and EIB. It is a concretization of the EIB-UNDP Procedural Framework Agreement signed in 2020 on how we will work together in support of Angola”, said the EIB Representative, Mr. Diederick Zambon.
Mr Zambon added that the interventions would boost Angola’s emergency response to the COVID-19 crisis and support the overall strengthening of the country’s health systems to be more resilient, including pandemic preparedness, as highlighted in the Angola National Contingency Plan for Control and Response to COVID-19.
“At this time of uncertainty, as the pandemic is not yet over, it is hoped that this EUR 50 million sovereign loan from the EIB, and the EUR 4.5 million grant from the EIB, will contribute to bringing Angola closer to having a resilient health system. By supporting the supply chain of health products to strengthen the response to COVID-19 and improve the functioning of the national procurement management system,” said Health Minister Dr. Silvia Lutucuta.
Noting the urgent need to strengthen the healthcare systems in Angola, UNDP Resident Representative Edo Stork pointed out that the loan will ensure access to COVID-19 vaccines and other health products to enhance prevention. He also noted that funding would provide access to essential medicines (including reproductive health and nutrition kits) for primary health care for greater health resilience.
“UNDP will act as a procurement agent on behalf of the Promoter (Ministry of Health) under the EIB-UNDP Procedural Framework. In addition, UNDP will provide the Ministry of Health with technical assistance for procurement and management of the project,” explained Edo Stork.
The project will mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the health sector and aim to:
- Prevent and treat COVID-19 through the purchase of vaccines, diagnostic means, personal protection and medicines, and other means necessary for treating patients affected by COVID-19.
- Reduce the population’s vulnerability to SARS-CoV-2 infection through purchasing and distributing essential drug kits to ensure continuity of services at the primary health care level.
- Strengthen the capacities of the Ministry of Health in the management of procurement and supply chain of health products.
UNDP is a key partner of the Government of Angola for its proven experience in managing the GLOBAL FUND, which has gained considerable strength and quality over the years; for its strong local, regional and global capacity in PHM management; for its partnership in various projects with MINSA, MINFIN and the Ministry of Planning and other national partners; the experience of collaboration and cooperation with other agencies of the UN system (namely WHO and UNICEF) and having completed this innovative project with the EIB (innovative in the sense of the partner and the national management mode) which may open the door to other perspectives of future collaboration with the EIB.