Skip to Main Navigation
PRESS RELEASE June 2, 2021

The Republic of Congo Strengthens its Health System

WASHINGTON, June 2, 2021 — The World Bank today approved $50 million in financing from the International Development Association (IDA) to improve the utilization and quality of reproductive, maternal and child services among the poorest households.

The objective of the “Kobikisa” (“Save” in Lingala) Health System Strengthening Project is to ensure free health care for certain diseases such as malaria and provide vaccines free of charge. It will strengthen the capacity of the health systems to meet the health care needs of the population in 36 districts, by increasing access to essential health services for around two million people over three years.

Access to basic reproductive, maternal and child health services is still a major challenge for the Republic of Congo, where the high mortality rate could be attributed to the poor quality of services. Although skilled birth attendants assist with almost 90% of births in health facilities and maternal mortality rates have fallen in recent decades, the rate remains high (378 deaths per 100,000 live births) when viewed against the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), whose target is to reduce the maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 deaths per 100,000 live births by 2030.

“For the most part, households have to pay directly for health care services, with catastrophic consequences for the poorest among them. With this financing of $50 million, the Kobikisa project will provide free health care and services for pregnant women and children and fee exemptions for the poorest households,” explained Abdoulaye Seck, World Bank Country Director for the Republic of Congo.

The World Bank has also agreed to support the Congolese government in the area of health, through (i) the COVID-19 Emergency Response Project (CERP) in the amount of $11.3 million, approved in April 2020; and (ii) the provision of $15 million in financing under REDISSE IV (Regional Disease Surveillance Systems Enhancement Project).

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.



Armel Samoue
+242 06 809 08 80/ 05 310 12 60