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PRESS RELEASE April 26, 2021

World Bank Boosts Burundi Health System in the Context of COVID-19

WASHINGTON, April 22, 2021 - The World Bank Group approved today additional financing of $54.6 million for the Health System Support Project (“KIRA”). Like the parent project, this additional financing from the International Development Association (IDA)* aims to increase the use of quality Reproductive, Maternal, Neonatal, Child and Adolescent Health services. In the event of an eligible crisis or emergency, a contingent response component will allow for immediate and effective support to the government.

"This new financing will continue to strengthen the various health system pillars in Burundi for the well-being of communities, particularly the most vulnerable people", said Jean Christophe Carret, World Bank Country Director for Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Angola.

The parent project significantly improved the use of essential health services, particularly for pregnant women and children under five. The average number of curative consultations for children under 5 in health facilities increased from 1.6 per inhabitant in 2010 to 2.5 in 2020; the proportion of births attended by skilled health personnel increased from 60% in 2010 to 85% in 2017 (Demographic and Health Surveys - DHS 2010 and 2017) while the rate of fully immunized children increased from 83% in 2010 to 85% in 2017.

This additional financing will continue to support the implementation of the national free health care policy for pregnant women and children under 5 through performance-based financing (PBF), support community health workers who provide a package of community-based health services, and improve the quality of training at paramedical and nursing schools.

In the context of the COVID-19 crisis, KIRA project will help improve the capacity of health services to detect this pandemic by strengthening laboratory networks in the country. It will also ensure the continuity of targeted activities of the regional Gender-Based Violence project in the provinces of Cibitoke, Makamba and Muyinga.

The Additional Financing for the KIRA Project includes a grant of $4.6 million from GAVI (Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization).

* The International Development Association (IDA) is the World Bank institution that helps the world’s poorest countries. Founded in 1960, it provides grants and zero to low-interest loans to projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty and improve poorest people’s living conditions. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 76 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. IDA resources are making positive changes in the lives of 1.6 billion people in countries eligible for assistance. Since its inception, IDA has supported activities in 113 countries. The annual volume of commitments is steadily increasing and has averaged US$ 21 billion over the past three years, with about 61% of that amount going to Africa.



Ange Dany Gakunzi
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