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BRIEF November 12, 2021

Preparing Cambodia’s Health Equity and Quality Improvement Project (H-EQIP II) Under the Pandemic


World Bank mission team members talk with village health support group representatives about their work in  supporting health service delivery. COVID-19 prevention measures, like social distancing and mask wearing, are observed during the field visit to Tbeng Meanchey Health Center, Preah Vihear Province.

Photo credit: Sou Sok, World Bank

Despite the restrictions brought about by COVID-19 transmission in Cambodia, preparation for phase II of the Health Equity and Quality Improvement Project (H-EQIP II) is well underway with the pre-appraisal mission taking place October 11-29, 2021. The mission included a one-week field trip to three provinces; Kampong Thom, Preah Vihear, and Battambang; where technical meetings were held with government and health facility representatives as well as consultations with stakeholders across the board. The findings of the mission will help to further develop and finalize the design of H-EQIP II.

"H-EQIP II aims to establish more equitable utilization of health services and further strengthen the quality and sustainability of health systems."

Supported by the Word Bank, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the German Development Bank, and the Korean International Cooperation Agency, In addition to the existing partners, the Global Financing Facility has also come on board to co-finance H-EQIP II, particularly to strengthen essential health services in the context of COVID-19 including the project’s community engagement.

The World Bank and its pooled fund partners will continue to work with the government of Cambodia over the next few months to ensure seamless transition from H-EQIP phase I to H-EQIP II. The first phase has focused on rolling out of major health system initiatives such as the Health Equity Funds for the poor, and Service Delivery Grants to health facilities to implement the National Quality Enhancements Management System. The second phase, which is coupled with improved management and accountability at the sub-national level, aims to substantially boost health outcomes and further advance Universal Health Coverage in Cambodia. H-EQIP II is expected to be approved by the World Bank Board at the end of February 2022, begin implementation in July 2022 and be completed in 2027.