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PRESS RELEASE March 19, 2020

Colombia Obtains World Bank Support to Improve Healthcare Quality and Combat Breast Cancer

WASHINGTON, March 19, 2020 – The World Bank Board of Directors today approved a US$ 150 million loan to improve the quality of the Colombian healthcare system.This loan will be complemented by a US$ 37.5 million grant from the Global Concessional Financing Facility (GCFF) to support the enrolment of legal immigrants in the country’s social security system.

This loan is the first “results-based financing” approved for Colombia. In that type of operation, disbursements are linked to the achievement of results agreed upon by the country and the World Bank.

The program seeks to enhance healthcare service quality and efficiency to contribute to improving the health of Colombians and the financial sustainability of the healthcare system in the medium and long term.

Increasing the early detection of breast cancer through women’s increased access to mammograms is an example of expected project results, as is improving the technical capacity of healthcare workers and raising their awareness with respect to gender violence and the specific health problems of migrants.

“We are confident that this operation will significantly contribute to saving the lives of hundreds of Colombian women because they will have access to early detection, as well as expanded, higher-quality healthcare services for all Colombians and Venezuelan migrants,” said Ulrich Zachau, World Bank Director for Colombia and Venezuela.

The program will support the enrolment of more than 200,000 immigrants in Colombia with Special Permits of Permanence (PEP) in the General Health Social Security System. This will provide Venezuelan migrants with access to primary healthcare, improving results and reducing pressure on hospitals and emergency rooms, especially in areas of the country with higher concentrations of immigrants.

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