Dushanbe, Tajikistan, September 20, 2013 – The Minister of Finance of the Republic of Tajikistan Safarali Najmiddinov and the World Bank Country Manager in Tajikistan Marsha Olive signed a grant agreement today to finance the Tajikistan Health Services Improvement Project. This US$19.8 million grant aims to improve maternal and child health outcomes by increasing the coverage and quality of basic primary health care services in rural health facilities of Tajikistan.
The new Project is being financed through a US$15 million grant from the International Development Association (IDA) and US$4.8 million from the multi-donor Health Results Innovation Trust Fund (HRITF). The Government of Tajikistan contributed an additional US$3.20 million to the project.
Since 2000 the World Bank has been supporting the Government of Tajikistan in strengthening the country’s health sector through the introduction and implementation of health reforms, including per capita financing for primary healthcare, strengthening capacity of medical workers, and rehabilitation of infrastructure. The new project will continue to build on these previous activities, in addition to piloting an innovative approach of performance-based financing. Primary health care facilities will receive incentives based on their performance in meeting certain pre-agreed maternal and child health targets. This process will involve verification of the facilities’ performance before any payments are given. Similar performance-based financing programs have been successful in improving health system performance and health outcomes in many countries around the world.
“The World Bank is pleased to increase financing for improved access to and quality of primary health care services,” said Marsha Olive, World Bank Country Manager for Tajikistan. “By making primary health care facilities, including those in remote areas, more effective in providing services to the population, we strive to make families healthier and better off in the future.”
The project will be implemented in eight districts of Khatlon and Sughd regions of Tajikistan, covering 1.86 million people, representing around 25 percent of the country’s population. In addition to piloting the use of performance-based incentives to primary health care facilities, it will provide training to doctors and nurses, support physical rehabilitation and renovation of selected rural health centers, including provision of basic medical equipment and it will build the capacity of health sector institutions at the central, regional, and district levels to manage and implement the performance-based financing scheme.
During its 20 years of partnership with Tajikistan, the World Bank financed training for over 4,000 healthcare system workers, and 20 percent of country’s Primary Health Care network has been completely renovated, among other results.
The active portfolio of the World Bank in Tajikistan currently consists of 12 projects with a net commitment of US$205.9 million. The largest share of the portfolio is in agriculture and rural development (40 percent), followed by water and sanitation (15 percent), human development (14 percent), energy (13 percent), the public sector (12 percent), and the private sector (6 percent).