WASHINGTON, June 9, 2011 – The World Bank’s Board of Directors today approved Second Additional Financing in the amount of US$ 24 million to support the on-going Health and Social Protection Project (HSPP) in the Kyrgyz Republic. The funding in the amount of US$ 13.2 million is a highly concessional credit, while the US$ 10.8 million is a grant. The aim of the project is to provide the population, in particular those living in areas affected by the June 2010 conflict, with improved access to quality health care services, and also to better manage public health threats.
The additional funds are aimed at improving the performance of the Kyrgyz health sector, strengthening the targeting system in the delivery of social benefits, and sustaining the health and nutritional status of vulnerable populations affected by the food price shocks. In particular, this project will:
- Financing the State Guaranteed Benefits Package, which aims to provide affordable basic health services to all;
- Strengthen patient care in the South through merging the Osh maternity Hospital with the City Perinatal Center which will provide efficiency gains in administration, as well as carrying out pilot tests of community based programs focusing on mental health illnesses in Osh, Jala-abad and Batken regions;
- A package of technical assistance for Health Ministry will be provided for policy enhancements, like developing methods of pricing pharmaceutical services and products which could result in reducing the cost of drugs, costing the Den Sooluk program, carrying out a mapping exercise of the hospital network to identify the real needs for capital investments in the system, a strategy will be presented for activities that would lead to improvement of quality of services at all levels of care in the country;
- The Ministry of Social Protection will be supported in designing a comprehensive social safety net strategy based on the principles of social inclusion, sustainability, transparency and cost effectiveness, and in building capacity for implementation of the strategy;
- A package of nutrition activities will target women and children and strengthen village health committees to undertake nutrition campaigns across different communities.
“The project will help the government provide basic affordable health care for all, irrespective of their ability to pay,” says Alexander Kremer, Country Manager in the Kyrgyz Republic. “It will support reforms that make sure that public spending on health goes where it is most needed. It will also strengthen health services in the areas of the South recovering from the tragic violence of June 2010.”
The second additional financing for HSPP will be implemented throughout three years by the Ministry of Health of the Kyrgyz Republic.
The World Bank’s overall mission in the Kyrgyz Republic is to promote economic growth, reduce poverty, and encourage a better quality of life. 45 percent of the World Bank’s assistance to the Kyrgyz Republic is in the form of grants. The other 55 percent is in highly concessional credits – no interest, and only a 0.75 percent service charge. Credits are repayable in 40 years, including a 10-year grace period, while grants require no repayment. The financial assistance to the Kyrgyz Republic since 1992 amounts to around 1 billion, in the form of grants and highly concessional credits.