World Bank approves $100m COVID-19 support for Bangladesh

Staff Correspondent | Published: 15:32, Apr 04,2020 | Updated: 01:22, Apr 05,2020


The World Bank on Friday approved a fast-track $100 million financing to help Bangladesh prevent, detect, and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and strengthen its national systems for public health emergencies.

The COVID-19 Emergency Response and Pandemic Preparedness Project will roll out nationwide to help upgrade selected health facilities and laboratories to detect, manage and treat suspected and confirmed COVID-19 cases, and support screening in Bangladesh’s designated health facilities and entry points as well, said a press release issued from Washington DC.

It would benefit people with suspected and confirmed infections, at-risk populations, medical and other emergency personnel along with public and private service providers besides the national health system, it said.

‘The World Bank is working closely with the government of Bangladesh to fight the spread of COVID-19,’ said Mercy Tembon, World Bank country director for Bangladesh and Bhutan.

The project would support the implementation of Bangladesh’s national plan to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, she said.

‘Moreover, it will help strengthen the country’s response by ensuring that effective surveillance and diagnostic systems are in place and that medical supplies, personal protective equipment, ventilators and isolation units are available in designated hospitals,’ Tembon said. 

The project will equip designated laboratories with COVID-19 trained staff as well as diagnostic equipment, test kits, and reagents. It is mobilising resources for faster procurement to expedite the acquisition of critical items.

The project is financed from the International Development Association, the World Bank’s fund for the poorest countries, through the World Bank Group’s COVID-19 Fast Track Facility. The credit has a 30-year maturity, including a five-year grace period, said the release.

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