Kathmandu, April 8: The World Bank has approved a US$ 29 million COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness Project to help Nepal prevent, detect, and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and strengthen its public health preparedness. The agreement was signed today by Finance Secretary Mr. Sishir Kumar Dhungana, on behalf of the Government of Nepal and World Bank Country Manager for Nepal, Mr. Faris Hadad-Zervos, on behalf of the World Bank.
The main focus is immediate response and preparedness to fight the virus, and this project will be implemented by Ministry of Health and Population. The project will help set up new intensive care units, beds, and isolation facilities across the country, and also provides emergency support to enhance Nepal’s capacity to detect cases and ensure prompt contact tracing consistent with World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines and Ministry of Health and Population protocols.
The project will also equip designated health facilities with personal protective equipment and hygienic materials and increase the diagnostic capacity of laboratories for responding to public health emergencies. It will enhance the National Public Health Laboratory to handle harmful infectious diseases and strengthen public institutions to coordinate and better manage response activities in all three levels of the government.
According to Faris Hadad-Zervos, World Bank Country Manager for Nepal – “The World Bank and its development partners are committed to helping Nepal improve up its health infrastructure and access the resources it needs to fight the spread of COVID-19 and protect the livelihoods of its people.”
The project is financed from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s concessional credit window for developing countries, through the World Bank Group’s COVID-19 fast-track facility. It also said that the project would be effective immediately after the signing of the agreement.
Source: The Republica