VIENTIANE, April 07, 2020 – The World Bank’s Regional Vice-Presidency of the East Asia and Pacific Region today approved US$18 million for Lao PDR to help the country respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. It also supports the upgrade of Lao PDR’s surveillance capacity and the skills of health care workers.
“With proactive containment measures, the loss of life and economic impact of the COVID-19 outbreak can be reduced,” said Mariam Sherman, World Bank Country Director for Myanmar, Cambodia and Lao PDR. “It is critical for the international community to help Lao PDR strengthen its health system and response capacity.”
The project has been prepared under the global framework of the World Bank’s Fast Track COVID-19 Facility, which is designed to respond rapidly to short-term needs and help countries strengthen health system for emergency response in the long run.
“The Government of Lao PDR greatly appreciates this timely support from the World Bank. The project will contribute to strengthen our health system as well as our capacity to respond to the spread of Covid-19,” said Mr Bounchom Ubonpaseuth, Deputy Minister of Finance. “The Government of Lao PDR is taking all the necessary measures to address this pandemic.”
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.