In an effort to combat the coronavirus (COVID-19), the World Bank is moving quickly to provide fast and flexible assistance to help Guinea improve its response to the health emergency, strengthen its health care system, and mitigate the socioeconomic impact on the people and the economy.
The World Bank’s response in Guinea is focused on three main areas: saving lives, protecting livelihoods, and safeguarding the future.
Over the next 15 months, the World Bank will provide more than $100 million in financing to protect the poorest households and help the country’s economy withstand this unprecedented exogenous shock. This financing will include new investments, budget assistance, and the redeployment of resources.
For the health response, a new project to support the fight against COVID-19 ($10.9 million grant) seeks to address immediate health needs through COVID-19 prevention, detection, and patient treatment measures. This project will support the establishment of intensive care units and inpatient facilities in hospitals and the provision of protective equipment for health personnel, in particular protective coveralls, gloves, and masks.
The World Bank has already provided $12.9 million to immediately strengthen the public health response through the Regional Disease Surveillance Systems Enhancement (REDISSE) project. It is financing the establishment of primary care treatment centers, surveillance activities, the provision of vital medical equipment and ambulances, awareness-raising campaigns, strengthened coordination, and the deployment of additional medical personnel.
To strengthen social protection, the Nafa Program Support Project is providing assistance to the National Agency for Economic and Social Inclusion (ANIES) in the form of a $70 million grant. The Emergency Cash Transfer Project will provide direct support to 150,000 affected and vulnerable households (close to 900,000 persons) over a six-month period and will strengthen the economic and social inclusion program.
In the agricultural sector, the Guinea Integrated Agricultural Development Project (PDAIG) is mobilizing $5 million to fund essential agricultural inputs for farmers impacted by the pandemic. It seeks to protect agricultural households and jobs by providing assistance to agricultural sector SMEs as well as inputs to producers and vulnerable households with seed cooperatives through the e-voucher program.
Private sector assistance is critical to containing the economic crisis and supporting recovery. The Project to Strengthen the Competitiveness of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises and Access to Financing (PRECOP) will provide technical assistance to the Central Bank of the Republic of Guinea to establish a private sector guarantee fund, in partnership with the International Finance Corporation (IFC). The aim of this fund will be to identify market opportunities and build the capacities of SMEs operating in related sectors.
Safeguarding the Future and Supporting the Recovery
To safeguard the future, essential government services must continue. The World Bank is providing over $10 million to assist the education sector. The Boosting Skills for Youth Employment Project (BoCEJ) will provide higher and technical education institutions with distance learning training. In the short term, the Project for Results in Early Childhood Education and Basic Education (PRECEBE) will provide assistance with radio and television education programs to ensure the uninterrupted education of preschool/primary school students.
The Guinea Urban Water Project (PUEG) will provide over $1 million in financing to the Guinean Water Company (SEG) to purchase 180 metric tons of essential water treatment equipment and chemical products over a six-month period. The project will also install 500 handwashing stations in health centers and public places and provide soap, disinfectants, and other sanitation supplies to the most vulnerable population groups (more than 120,000 beneficiaries).
In addition, Guinea has requested budget support from the World Bank to help manage the budgetary impact of the pandemic. The purpose of this operation will be to help the government mitigate the effects of the COVID crisis and promote reforms that will pave the way for economic recovery.