Investments will include test kits, protective equipment and training for health care staff
DUSHANBE, April 2, 2020 – The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved today $11.3 million in grant financing from the International Development Association for the Tajikistan Emergency COVID-19 Project, which will support the country’s efforts to prepare for and respond effectively to the health and social risks associated with the global COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.
The financing will help establish around 100 new, fully equipped Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds in health facilities across Tajikistan, and strengthen the health system’s capacity to treat individuals infected with COVID-19. Urgently needed supplies to help detect and prevent COVID-19 will also be procured, including testing kits, laboratory reagents, and personal protective equipment for medical personnel. ICU staff will receive training in COVID-19 care and infection prevention, as well as longer-term capacity-building in critical care provision.
“Highly exposed to the risks of the global COVID-19 pandemic, Tajikistan must now prepare its health and social systems to respond quickly and efficiently,” says Jan-Peter Olters, World Bank Country Manager for Tajikistan. “This project will help the country’s efforts to undertake preventive actions, protect its healthcare staff, and decrease, where possible, rates of COVID-19 cases, while protecting the poor and most vulnerable, especially children.”
The project will also finance communication activities, through the media and local communities, to ensure the public has up-to-date information on the pandemic and about preventive measures such as regular handwashing.
In addition, to help offset the potential impacts of the pandemic on the poorest and most vulnerable in society, some emergency cash transfers will also be financed, primarily targeting food-insecure families with young children, in case they are unable to cope with rising food prices. These transfers could also help counter potentially increased risks of under-nutrition among families during the crisis.
The World Bank Group is rolling out a $14 billion fast-track package to strengthen the COVID-19 response in developing countries and shorten the time to recovery. The immediate response includes financing, policy advice and technical assistance to help countries cope with the health and economic impacts of the pandemic. The IFC is providing $8 billion in financing to help private companies affected by the pandemic and preserve jobs. IBRD and IDA are making an initial US$6 billion available for the health-response. As countries need broader support, the World Bank Group will deploy up to $160 billion over 15 months to protect the poor and vulnerable, support businesses, and bolster economic recovery.