WASHINGTON, June 29, 2022 - The World Bank today approved $29.67 million in a third additional financing from the International Development Association (IDA) to strengthen the health system to support pandemic preparedness and the COVID-19 response in the Republic of Congo.
This new financing from the World Bank will scale up COVID-19 response efforts by ensuring efficient deployment of vaccines including upgrading storage and cold chain facilities; improving service delivery, including updating facility infrastructure to ensure that they can deliver immunization and – as needed – treatment of COVID-19 patients; and addressing infection prevention and control (IPC) gaps. It will improve treatment and care, including by extending the country’s oxygen delivery capacity and maintaining essential services. It will also encourage demand for vaccination by expanding and improving communication campaigns and outreach which are essential to sustain throughout the vaccine roll-out.
“This additional financing is being prepared at a crucial juncture in the Republic of Congo Government response to COVID-19.” explained Abdoulaye Seck, World Bank Country Director for the Republic of Congo. “In a bid to accelerate the expansion of economic activities, the country lifted most COVID-19-related restrictions as of February 28, 2022. This financing supports community-level engagement to ensure that individual precautions remain in-place and vaccine confidence improves.”
Overall, these additional resources will offer an opportunity to build a more resilient health system that will be better positioned to prepare, detect, and respond to future pandemics and provide a clearer pathway towards Universal Health Coverage. It will pay specific attention to ensuring that investments are deployed across the 12 départements (regions) of the Republic of Congo.
This third financing for the COVID-19 Emergency Response Project complements the $11.3 million and $12 million that was approved for the Republic of Congo respectively in April 2020 and in June 2021 and used by the government to step up prevention, disease surveillance, and early case detection and confirmation action. In partnership with UNICEF, the COVID-19 Emergency Response Project has provided personal protective equipment, logistical resources, PCR tests, and medical and laboratory equipment to support the emergency response to the coronavirus pandemic.
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 US$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.