WASHINGTON, March 29, 2016—The World Bank Board of Executive Directors approved today an additional grant of $30 million for the Human Development Systems Strengthening Project in DRC. This financing is complemented by $10 million from the Global Financing Facility (GFF) Trust Fund and $1.08 million from the Policy and Human Resources Development Trust Fund from the Government of Japan.
The additional financing will expand the geographic scope and depth of the Education Management Information System and cover a financing gap for the two rounds of Service Delivery Indicator surveys. Project financing will support the development of a strategy to modernize the national system for Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) and will support increasing the depth and breadth of activities related to the pharmaceutical regulatory system and to the public supply chain management system.
The systems that deliver human development services were severely weakened during decades of conflict and instability. Some progress has been observed in recent years in select health and education indicators, but considerable challenges remain. The ranking of the country on the Human Development Index, while still low, improved to 176 out of 188 countries in 2015 from its previous ranking at the bottom of the scale. Chronic malnutrition rates have remained high at 43% and stagnant, while the fertility rate remains high at 6.6 children per woman and is increasing. Access to primary education has improved significantly, but out-of-school children are still too numerous and quality of education remains a challenge. These statistics point to the urgent need to strengthen systems and ensure delivery of good quality services for human development.
“The human development services are in the process of being rebuilt, the Government recognizes the need to build strong institutions and systems to enable it to meet the needs of a growing population for effective health, education, and social protection services and wants the Bank to scale up its support in this area” said Ahmadou Moustapha Ndiaye, Country Director for the DRC.
The new funds will strengthen select management systems for education and health services in targeted geographical areas in the recipient’s territory. The project focuses on the national level and in a select number of provinces. The direct beneficiaries include decision makers and staff of the Ministries of Primary, Secondary Education and Initiation to New Citizenship Public Health; Social Affairs; Labor, Employment and Social Insurance; Justice and Human Rights; and Interior and Security, through a stronger evidence base to strengthen the systems for effective and efficient service delivery.
“The project is aligned with the Bank strategy for Africa. It focuses on the foundation of the strategy—public sector capacity—in systems that will contribute to increased competitiveness and employment (through a well-educated and healthy work force) and to reduced vulnerability and increased resilience (through improved health and the development of a national social protection strategy)” added Luc Laviolette.
Task Team Leader of the Project
Among the most visible results of the additional financing will be the delivery of birth certificates to an expected six hundred thousand children with project financing and the ability to monitor key indicators of the entire country’s primary education system through a web portal. The additional financing will also support the development and testing of a logistics management information system to provide a unified view of the availability of health products throughout the supply chain to support all levels in anticipating needs to avoid stock-outs.
The Global Financing Facility is a multi-stakeholder partnership that supports country-led efforts to improve the health of women, children and adolescents by acting as an innovative financing pathfinder. Improving civil registration and vital statistics systems is an important component of the GFF’s work to strengthen the information systems that are critical to tracking—and ultimately, improving—overall health and well-being. The GFF Trust Fund is a multi-donor trust fund that leverages additional financing for reproductive, maternal, newborn, adolescent and child health by linking grant funding to IDA financing. The GFF Trust Fund will provide $10 million for improving CRVS in DRC, which is matched by $10 million in IDA financing.
*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 to the 1.3 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 112 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $19 billion over the last three years, with about 50 percent going to Africa.