PHNOM PENH, April 2, 2020—The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved a US$20 million credit from the International Development Association (IDA) for the Cambodia COVID-19 Emergency Response Project, as part of the first tranche of emergency support operations through a dedicated fast-track COVID-19 facility.
“This fast-tracked financing will help Cambodia confront this unprecedented global health emergency by sourcing much-needed medical supplies and facilities to diagnose and treat COVID-19, reduce the spread of infection, strengthen pandemic response capabilities, and shorten the time to recovery for both people and the economy,” said Inguna Dobraja, World Bank Country Manager for Cambodia.
The project will finance the construction of isolation and treatment centers and increase the diagnostic capacity of laboratories at all 25 of the country’s provincial and municipal referral hospitals, and will finance the purchase of medical supplies needed to treat patients and prevent the spread of infection. The project will also support the deployment of the Ministry of Health’s Rapid Response Teams across the country through the hiring and training of additional staff, strengthening the National Public Health Emergency Operation Center—which coordinates the country’s COVID-19 preparedness and response efforts—and establishing provincial-level emergency operations centers.
This emergency response project complements the longer-term development work the World Bank is supporting in the health sector, including the Health Equity and Quality Improvement Project (H-EQIP), which is improving access to quality health services for the poorest Cambodians. Last week, $14 million of the H-EQIP project funds was allocated through a Contingency Emergency Response Component (CERC) to purchase ambulances and medical equipment and to quickly develop national laboratory capacity to rapidly respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. CERC allows funds to be redirected from parts of the H-EQIP project to cover emergency response needs.
World Bank Group COVID-19 Response
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.