Cameroon: US$127 Million to Address Urgent Health Needs of Women and Children in Underserved Northern Regions

May 3, 2016

WASHINGTON, May 3, 2016– The World Bank Board of Executive Directors approved today a total of US$127 million to increase the use of and improve the quality of health services in Cameroon, with a focus on reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health (RMNCAH) and nutrition services. The funding includes a US$100 million International Development Association (IDA)* credit, and a US$27 million grant from the Global Financing Facility (GFF) Trust Fund.

The project will support the progressive national scale-up of the Performance Based Financing (PBF) program as well as implementation of other high-impact interventions supported by the GFF.  With coverage at 25 percent of the population in 2016, the operation would support a gradual scale-up of an additional 20 percent of the population per year between 2017 and 2020. During the first phase of the extension (2016-2018), the operation will focus on scaling up to the remaining 36 districts in the three northern regions of Cameroon (Far North, North, and Adamawa) to address the urgent and growing needs in those regions.

Women, adolescents and children under 5, as well as displaced and refugee populations affected by insecurity in the region, will benefit from the interventions. The project includes two components that aim to improve performance of the health sector: (i) Strengthening of Health Service Delivery; and (ii) Institutional Strengthening for Improved Health System Performance.

After six years of experience with PBF in Cameroon, the government has identified PBF as key strategy to improve the efficiency of how resources for the health sector are allocated and used, improve health worker performance through increased motivation and satisfaction, and increase the population’s use of essential health services through an increase in the quality of health services,” says Elisabeth Huybens, World Bank Country Director for Cameroon.

The GFF-supported interventions will have a multi-sectoral approach and improve both health and nutrition outcomes through investing in social protection and education as well as health. Priorities have been identified through the evidence-based and consultative processes now close to completion (and documented in the GFF Investment Case).  In line with the general GFF approach, this includes both RMNCAH interventions, cross-cutting systems interventions, and support to civil registration and vital statistics.

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. The GFF Trust Fund is a multi-donor trust fund that leverages additional financing for RMNCAH by linking grant funding to IDA financing.

Through in-depth analytics and participatory dialogue led by the government, the GFF consultations in Cameroon have resulted in a geographical prioritization of the three northern regions and the East, where health outcomes are significantly worse than rest of the country. The interventions supported by the GFF Investment Case will address the multi-sectoral determinants of health and nutrition, with a particular focus on the economic, education, and demographic challenges in the northern regions of Cameroon, especially for adolescent girls,” says Paul Jacob Robyn, Health Specialist and Task Team Leader for this project.


* 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.

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