WASHINGTON, February 19, 2014 – The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has approved support to Togo that will help the country offer lifesaving health and nutrition services to over 1.3 million people, nearly 60 percent of whom are women and girl children under the age of five.
The new IDA* grant of US$14 million for the Togo Maternal and Child Health and Nutrition Services (MCHNP, or PASMIN in French) Project will focus on lowering the child mortality rate, which has remained high at 123 deaths per thousand, and on saving the lives of mothers, many of whom are tragically lost due to childbirth-related causes.
The project will be implemented over four years and could save as many as 17,000 lives during this period, while also paving the way for continued improvement in Togo’s monitoring and management of essential public health services.
“I am delighted that we are able to support Togo in one of its most important undertakings, which is to deliver much-needed basic health and nutrition services to under-served people,” said Hervé Assah, World Bank Country Manager for Togo. “Faster progress in women’s and children’s health is absolutely critical to meet the Millennium Development Goals, and to Togo’s onward development as a nation.”
Anti-malaria efforts under this project will be nationwide. Nutrition services, however, will be concentrated in the regions of Plateaux and Centrale, given their high rates of chronic malnutrition and the fact that the northern regions of Savanes and Kara are already the focus of similar efforts.
While pregnant women will have access to malaria and nutrition services as part of their routine ante-natal visits, young children—whose nutritional status has been suffering the worst deterioration in the first 1,000 days of life—will benefit from services delivered by trained community health workers who can protect them from untimely illness or death due to both malaria and chronic malnutrition.
“In many African countries, child mortality has been falling rapidly in recent years as a result of similar efforts to deliver basic health services, and we have every reason to expect that this success will be replicated in Togo as well,” said Chris Atim, World Bank Task Team Leader for the project.
This project is fully aligned with the World Bank’s two major global goals, which are reducing extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity.
* The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing loans (called “credits”) and grants 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 81 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change for 2.5 billion people living on less than $2 a day. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 108 countries. Annual commitments have increased steadily and averaged about $15 billion over the last three years, with about 50 percent of commitments going to Africa.