$12.57 million will target healthcare capacity and protect vulnerable population
DUSHANBE, February 22, 2021 – In addition to $8.63 million approved for COVID-19 vaccines, the World Bank is providing another $12.57 million in grant financing for the Tajikistan Emergency COVID-19 Project, to further strengthen Tajikistan’s heath care capacity and protect vulnerable population groups in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“These additional resources will further help Tajikistan to protect the poorest households from the direct impacts of the pandemic, by strengthening the healthcare system and emergency social assistance,” said Jan-Peter Olters, World Bank Country Manager for Tajikistan. “This project—complementing efforts to secure COVID-19 vaccines—aims at providing necessary support to allow for accelerated economic recovery and the ability to help the country’s most vulnerable households.”
With this second additional financing, the project will invest in necessary infrastructure for the supply of oxygen in up to 15 hospitals across Tajikistan, including the 10 hospitals that have already received equipment and medical supplies under the original project. This component will help severely ill COVID-19 patients and other patients to receive life-saving oxygen therapy.
The second additional financing will provide resources needed for the procurement of essential equipment and supplies for oxygen therapy and cover the procurement of medicines for COVID-19 therapy, including dexamethasone and other approved therapeutics. It will also provide one-time emergency support to fill a budget gap for vaccines for measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) for children.
“Disruptions in essential health services, such as routine child immunization, caused by COVID-19 may have a large impact on the population’s health and increase morbidity and mortality,” said Jakub Kakietek, World Bank Technical Team Lead. “Protecting essential health services during the pandemic, through emergency measures but also through continued investments in health system strengthening, is critical to shielding the population from the negative secondary impacts of COVID-19.”
To mitigate the social impacts of the pandemic, one-time emergency cash assistance will be provided to an additional 70,000 vulnerable households across Tajikistan. The cash assistance will be delivered through the Targeted Social Assistance program administered by the State Agency for Social Protection.
With additional financing, the project will scale up activities related to public outreach and communication by strengthening the national COVID-19 hotline, establishment of regional hotlines, and distribution of information materials on COVID-19 prevention.
The original Tajikistan Emergency COVID-19 Project, with a total financing of $11.3 million, was approved in April 2020 to support Tajikistan’s response to COVID-19. So far, with project funds, Intensive Care Units in 10 hospitals across the country have been strengthened, through equipment, medical supplies, PPE, and small rehabilitation works.
In addition, the project has provided one-time cash transfers to over 65,000 poor households with young children, to mitigate the impacts from food price shocks caused by the pandemic on child nutrition and to protect the investments made in early childhood development and human capital. The transfers are delivered using an emergency module of the existing Targeted Social Assistance (TSA) system. Through the project’s collaboration with UNICEF, the beneficiary households also receive important information on optimal child nutrition, stimulation, and parenting practices to help children stay healthy and grow to their full potential, despite the challenges caused by the pandemic. The project is providing critical support to strengthen the capacity of the Ministry of Health and Social Protection of the Population in public outreach and communications on COVID-19.
The World Bank is a longstanding partner of Tajikistan’s health sector. Its current investments in the health sector stand at over $42 million. From strengthening institutional capacity to addressing child malnutrition, the projects aim at providing better health services for the population.
The World Bank, one of the largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries, is taking broad, fast action to help developing countries respond to the health, social and economic impacts of COVID-19. This includes $12 billion to help low- and middle-income countries purchase and distribute COVID-19 vaccines, tests, and treatments, and strengthen vaccination systems. The financing builds on the broader World Bank Group COVID-19 response, which is helping more than 100 countries strengthen health systems, support the poorest households, and create supportive conditions to maintain livelihoods and jobs for those hit hardest.