A severe pandemic would harm health, economies, and communities in all countries, but especially in poor and fragile states. Pandemic prevention requires robust public health systems (veterinary and human) that collaborate to stop contagion promptly.
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WASHINGTON, December 18, 2014—The World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors today approved a total of U$226.5 million to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to strengthen its health systems t... Show More +o improve maternal and child health services. The project will also support an Ebola preparedness plan for DRC and enable the country to be better equipped to respond to anew Ebola outbreak. Economic growth in the DRC which has been impressive in recent years has not translated into achieving better health and other human development results.While infant mortality has fallen from 148 per thousand to 104 per thousand in the last five years, other challenges remain. For example, 43 percent of women are affected by domestic violence and poor access to health services. Almost half of all children under the age of five are malnourished. Fertility rate has increased from 6.3 to 6.6 with 7.4 in rural areas. Furthermore, despite having a large number of trained midwives and assisted deliveries being at 80 percent, the maternal mortality rate is very high at 846 deaths per 100,000 births, which suggests poor quality services“Increasing women and children’s access to improved and affordable health services by focusing on better governance and stronger health systems is a key priority for the government and an important element in our Country Assistance Strategy for the DRC,” said Jan Walliser, World Bank Acting Country Director for the Democratic Republic of Congo. “Building the capacity to deliver quality neonatal and child health treatment is critical for poverty reduction in the country.”The government priority is to achieve universal health coverage targeting pregnant women and children under five and has mobilized all the technical and financial partners toward this goal. The World Bank has aligned its interventions along those of UNICEF, the Global Fund, GAVI and UNFPA with the aim that such collaborative approach will contribute towards the provision of an integrated package of services implemented offered to a larger portion of the population. According to Hadia Samaha, the World Bank Task Team Leader for the PDSS Project, “This alignment of development partners will contribute to strengthening the health system and will also improve use and quality of care as well as achieving better maternal and child health results.” The $130 million IDA* credit and $90 million IDA* grant along with the $6.5 million grant from the Health Results Innovation Trust Fund for the DRC Human Development Systems Strengthening for Better Maternal and Child Health Results Project (PDSS) will scale up Performance Based Financing (PBF) approach targetting about 23 percent of the population in four provinces (Equateur, Bandundu, Maniema, and Katanga). It is expected that this strategy will strengthen the quantity and quality of services and improve governance, transparency and accountability of the health system.Under the project, financial incentives will be provided for household visits to improve preventative care as well as improve social behaviors towards healthy choices. It will also focus on nutrition, HIV/AIDS and neglected tropical diseases in addition to maternal and child health.The project will help DRC in its efforts to increase the country’s overall disease preparedness and to minimize the health risks from a new outbreak of Ebola. It will provide essential equipment, supplies, drugs and vehicles that are critical in ensuring that the country is prepared for an Ebola outbreak in DRC.“By financing an integrated package of services and strengthening the health systems in DRC the project will help improve the use and quality of health for women and children and also contribute to the overall level of emergency response preparedness, which is vital to counter communicable disease outbreaks such as Ebola,” said Samaha.* The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing 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 77 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change for 2.8 billion people living on less than $2 a day. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 112 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $18 billion over the last three years, with about 50 percent going to Africa. Show Less -
BRISBANE, November 15, 2014 – World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim today released the following statement on the G20 Leaders’ statement on Ebola:“We welcome the call to action on Ebola by G20 Leade... Show More +rs today. This is an important commitment to combat Ebola and address the terrible human and economic impact of the outbreak in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.Ebola is a global crisis. The G20 leaders’ statement is a clear signal to the global community that we must now unite, and in partnership muster all available resources to fight Ebola at its source to save lives and prevent its spread. Epidemics do not respect borders. As G20 Leaders recognize, there is an urgent need to address the larger issues raised by pandemics such as Ebola, especially the need to strengthen health systems globally and build country preparedness. We also welcome the G20 Leaders’ call for the World Bank Group to explore new flexible mechanisms to deal with the economic impact of future comparable crises. We are exploring a global pandemic facility that could use insurance and other market mechanisms to make resources immediately available and more broadly share costs and risks. This would save precious time and lives, and sharply reduce the impact and costs of pandemics.” Show Less -
WASHINGTON, October 10, 2014—In the wake of a “late, inadequate and slow” global response to the Ebola outbreak, World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim today called for the creation of a new pandemic... Show More + emergency facility that would rapidly respond to future outbreaks by delivering money to countries in crisis.Speaking before the Annual Meetings plenary, a meeting of the governors of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group, Kim said he would like to develop the proposals for a financial instrument with the United Nations, the IMF and regional development banks. He said even as the focus should now be intensely on doing everything possible to stop Ebola, planning must also begin for the next pandemic, which “could spread much more quickly, kill even more people and potentially devastate the global economy”.“The world has an IMF to coordinate and work with central banks and ministries to respond to financial crises,” he said. “When it comes to health emergencies, however, our institutional toolbox is empty: There’s no such center of knowledge and skill for response and coordination."He said the Bank Group’s financial teams have proposed several solutions, including the pandemic emergency facility. “The device would pre-package a response, establishing contingent funding agreements with donors and receipt mechanisms for possible recipients. So when a global health emergency is declared, financial support would be readily available and flow quickly to support an immediate response"Kim said the Bank’s work on Ebola, including in the innovative use of crisis funding to disburse $105 million over nine days in emergency funding, had been informed by its focus over the past two years on climate change.He told delegates the World Bank Group was fully engaged in fighting the global threats posed by both Ebola and climate change. He said the actions exemplify that the Bank Group wants to become, defining that as “an indispensable partner for both low and middle income countries in their efforts to solve their most difficult challenges.”He warned time was running out to find solutions to both the threats posed by climate change and Ebola.“Also, until very recently, the plans to fight them were either non-existent or inadequate. And, inaction is literally killing people – one because of the rapid spread of a deadly virus, the other from the poisoning of the atmosphere and the oceans. And finally, perhaps most critically from our point of view, resolving these problems is essential to development, whether from the perspective of human suffering, economic growth, or public health. “He said Bank Group staff from the climate group, plus experts working on urban issues and with the private sector, would meet later today with government officials and corporate CEOs to decide how to turn pledges by governments, companies and investors to put a price on carbon into action.In his speech, Kim also cited the Bank Group’s work in creating the Global Infrastructure Facility, a global platform to bring together institutional investors, development banks, and public officials to tackle the infrastructure deficit now faced by the developing world, an estimated US$1 trillion to $1.5 trillion. Kim praised the work of staff across the institution saying in infrastructure, Ebola and climate change, teams had worked collaboratively and displayed an inspiring commitment to innovation.“Their efforts displayed creativity, knowledge, skill, intensity, passion and selflessness. Their sharing of ideas and best practices is precisely the culture we wanted the reorganization to create,” he said.“We must maintain this commitment because increasing global fragility and volatility will challenge us more and more every day. In our march to end extreme poverty – conflict, typhoons, floods, droughts, financial shocks and epidemics may, at times, slow us. But they will not stop us. The Bank will be aggressive and creative and apply large-scale solutions to help states manage, prepare for, recover from and conquer these risks, so they can grow and flourish. “ Show Less -
Ashgabat, July 5, 2010 – On July 2, a World Bank supervision mission completed its visit to Turkmenistan in the framework of the Avian Influenza Control and Human Pandemic Preparedness and Response Pr... Show More +oject. The Project, which is funded through the Avian and Human Influenza (AHI) facility amounts to US$1.97 million, of which US$1.07 million is funded through the European Commission Single Donor Trust Fund and US$0.9 million through a Multi-Donor Trust Fund Grant. The grant is administered by the World Bank.The Project comes with the aim to strengthen the country’s capacity to prevent the spread of avian influenza among poultry, prevent the transmission of avian influenza from birds to humans, and prepare for a pandemic, should it occur.The major components of the project include the following:(i) ‘Animal Health’ which provides support for prevention, control and total eradication of avian flu through better planning, coordination and surveillance mechanisms;(ii) ‘Human Health’ which aims at reducing the impact of the influenza virus through public health planning and coordination, and by strengthening the public health surveillance and response capacity;iii) ‘Public Awareness and Information’ a component which complements the efforts of donors like UNICEF, WHO and others as well as the “Health” Information Center of the Ministry of Health and Medical Industry that are working on to minimize the risk of outbreaks and contamination, by ensuring that citizens understand the threat, and are aware of symptoms, with a view to influencing their behavior in order to protect themselves and their communities.The Ministry of Health and Medical Industry of Turkmenistan oversees the implementation of the Project and is responsible for the overall coordination with the Veterinary Union and the Ministry of Nature Protection of Turkmenistan, while UNDP Turkmenistan assists the Government on fiduciary related aspects under the Project, specifically in Procurement and Financial Management.The mission was especially pleased with the following achievements, accomplished over the past 6-months:Refurbishment of the Central Veterinary laboratory in Akhal velayat: Under the Project, the Central Veterinary laboratory has been fully refurbished to meet applicable biosafety and biosecurity standards for the highly pathogenic avian influenza. Further it will be equipped with state of the art laboratory equipment. In addition, the project has provided funding to refurbish the Sanitary and Epidemiology Service (SES) laboratory which is expected to be completed by end July. Also, project funded small repair works in the velayat veterinary laboratories.çProcurement of lab equipment: laboratory equipment will be installed in the refurbished Central Veterinary laboratory and the SES laboratory. The equipment includes items such as: PCR machine, centrifuges, freezers and a number of laboratory disposable instruments and materials, as well as other items.Trainings under the Animal health component: FAO was engaged with the Veterinary authorities to provide master trainings on epidemiology and poultry diseases. Subsequently, cascade trainings took place in each of the velayats.Turkmenistan has, so far, not had any recorded outbreaks of the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). Nevertheless, the risk to Turkmenistan of an HPAI outbreak remains significant as a result of migratory waterfowl patterns.“We are pleased to have this collaboration with the Government of Turkmenistan, and throughout project implementation noted a high level of dedication by all stakeholders in achieving Project development objectives,” says Tamer Rabie, Senior Health Specialist and Project Team Leader based in Washington, DC. “We look forward to continuing our collaboration with the Government of Turkmenistan on this project and others in the health sector.” Turkmenistan signed the Articles of Agreement of the World Bank Group on September 22, 1992. The first Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) for Turkmenistan was presented to the World Bank’s Board on May 27, 1997. In 1996, the Bank established a Liaison Office in Ashgabat to enhance communications with the Government and to provide operational support. Currently, the World Bank Group continues to conduct a dialogue with the Turkmen Government by providing assistance in a number of areas of mutual interest. Show Less -
Beijing, April 26, 2007 – The World Bank and Chinese government launch the Capacity Building Project for Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) Prevention and Human Influenza Pandemic Preparedness i... Show More +n Beijing today. The project, funded by a grant of US$2.65 million from the Avian and Human Influenza Facility managed by the World Bank, aims to improve China's capacity in early warning and surveillance, prevent and control the outbreak of avian influenza and preparedness for human pandemic influenza, and minimize the impact of the two diseases on China's economic and social development. "This project represents continued collaboration between the Government and the World Bank on avian and human influenza prevention and control, after the Joint Assessment of Country Framework for Avian Influenza Control and Human Pandemic Influenza Preparedness and Response in December 2005, and the International Pledging Conference on Avian Influenza and Human Pandemic Influenza in Beijing in January 2006," said Elaine Sun, Operations Manager of the World Bank's Office in Beijing. " We hope this project will contribute to capacity building at the grass-root level for HPAI prevention and human influenza pandemic preparedness." Avian influenza outbreaks have been escalating globally in the recent years. It on average caused an economic loss ranging from 0.6 percent to 2 percent of GDP in some of affected countries in this region. Many infectious disease experts believe that human pandemic influenza is inevitable. It was estimated that future pandemic may result in a loss of more than 5 percent of world GDP or US$2 trillion per annum. The two diseases have the potential to compromise global and countries' effort on growth, development and poverty reduction.China faces an even greater risk from the two diseases because (a) it houses 25 percent of world chickens, 87 percent of geese and 65 percent of ducks, and more than 60 percent of them are backyard farmed; (b) it has the world largest human population; (c) three migratory bird flyways pass across the country; and (d) its veterinary services and human health services are in need for urgent development, particularly at grass root level. The unpredictability of influenza virus and its capacity for increased transmissibility imply that prevention and preparedness for the diseases have to be made as early as possible. This two-year project will provide training in ten counties of Anhui and Liaoning provinces, review and improve national HPAI prevention and control strategy, enhance human influenza pandemic preparedness planning and response capacity of the project provinces and counties, and strengthen detecting, diagnosing and reporting capacity of agriculture and health departments at grass-root level. The Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Health are the executing agencies. The launch workshop was attended by representatives of the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and project provinces and counties, EU, the Government of Australia, WHO, FAO and the World Bank. Show Less -
Ankara, November 7, 2006 – The World Bank signed today a grant agreement documents with the United States Government, whereby the U.S. will provide $1,000,000 to the World Bank to be used to support t... Show More +he Avian Influenza and Human Pandemic Preparedness and Response Project. The grant agreement was signed by the Country Director of the World Bank Mr. Andrew Vorkink and the U.S. Ambassador Mr. Ross Wilson. The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. Mehdi Eker witnessed the ceremony.The overall purpose of the Grant is to provide support to the overall project by funding activities under animal health and public awareness. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has agreed to support in the amount of $1 million to restructure the backyard poultry industry and develop of the communication strategy in Turkey.During the grant agreement signing ceremony, Country Director of the World Bank Andrew Vorkink stated that the Bank is happy to see strong show of support by the US Government in contributing to fighting against Avian Influenza in Turkey. Vorkink said: “It is extremely important for us to receive US support to this vital project today. As we all know, the continuing outbreaks of HPAI influenza which began in late 2003 in several Southeast Asian Countries and the ones that have occurred more recently in Central Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa have affected lives and been disastrous to the poultry industry and have raised serious global public health concerns.” Vorkink also added: “With interventions proposed in this project and in collaboration with other national and international partners, it should be possible to minimize a pandemic’s consequences in Turkey through advance preparation to meet the challenge of avian influenza. The World Bank is pleased to help Turkey in this project, which will also give assurances to visitors and tourists to Turkey and residents that Turkey has a comprehensive plan to help stop the spread of future bird flu outbreaks if they occur in the future”.The total loan amount of the Avian Influenza and Human Pandemic Preparedness and Response Project (AIHP) for Turkey is US$34 million (Euro 27.5 million) through which the World Bank is providing assistance to the Turkish Government to minimize the threat in Turkey posed to humans by highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) infection and other transmittable diseases in birds and domestic poultry and to prepare for the control and response to an influenza pandemic and other infectious disease emergencies in humans. The activities to be supported under the project will be grouped under Animal Health, Human Health, public awareness and coordination support. To achieve the goal, three areas will be supported:(i) prevention,(ii) preparedness and planning and,(iii) response and containment.Achieving these goals will contribute to diminishing the burden of disease and loss of productivity in Turkey, limiting the regional spread of HPAI, and enhancing economic and social prospects at the national, regional and global levels. Show Less -