WASHINGTON, April 27, 2022 – The World Bank has approved $187 million in financing from the International Development Association (IDA)* to help Benin improve the quality of and access to primary health care services and strengthen its public health emergency response capacity.
The Benin Health System Enhancement Program, a Program-for-Results (PforR) project, will help improve the quality of and access to primary health care services, with a focus on reproductive, maternal, neonatal, child, and adolescent health, and nutrition. This project will provide essential health services to close to nine million people and basic nutrition services to more than four million children. Over 2.8 million children will be immunized and more than two million births will be attended by skilled health personnel. The project will also help improve disease surveillance in Benin and enhance its ability to respond quickly and effectively to public health emergencies.
“Despite efforts in recent years, Benin’s health system still faces challenges to provide quality services at all levels, including maternal and child health services. Adequately training personnel and equipping facilities will lead to standardized quality basic services to bridge the current gap between adequate access to services and good results in maternal, neonatal, and child health,” notes Atou Seck, World Bank Country Manager for Benin.
This new program will build on the achievements of the Health System Performance Project (2010-2017), which implemented a performance-based financing system in eight health zones and significantly improved the coverage of maternal, neonatal, and child health services, quality of care, and the institutional capacity of the Ministry of Health.
“Substantial financing in the health sector is one of the government’s priorities for strengthening human capital. The government is committed to developing quality infrastructure and recruiting skilled personnel to bring the health system up to standard and provide quality primary health care to women and children,” says Romuald Wadagni, Minister of State in charge of Economy and Finance. “This new program-for-results project reflects the government’s commitment to boost social investments through optimal public resource management.”
This operation is in line with the Government Action Program 2021-2026, Pillar 3 of which focuses on increasing access by the Beninese people to basic social services and social protection.
*The International Development Association (IDA) is the World Bank’s fund for the poorest. Established in 1960, it provides grants and low- to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 76 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change to the 1.6 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 113 countries. Annual commitments have increased steadily and have averaged $21 billion over the past three years, with about 61% going to Africa.