The World Bank.
KATHMANDU Nepal is to receive 29 million US dollars from the World Bank in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
An agreement to this end was signed today by Finance Secretary Sishir Kumar Dhungana and World Bank Country Manager for Nepal Faris Hadad-Zervos.
The World Bank has approved a fast-track 29 million USD COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness Project to help Nepal prevent, detect, and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and strengthen its public health preparedness, reads a statement issued by the WB Nepal office.
The project will focus on the immediate response and preparedness needs to fight the virus.
The project provides emergency support to enhance Nepal’s capacity to detect cases and ensure prompt contact tracing consistent with World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines and the Ministry of Health and Population protocols. It will also help set up new intensive care units, beds, and isolation facilities across the country. The project will be implemented by the Ministry of Health and Population.
Finance Secretary Dhungana has expressed the confidence that the support would help Nepal respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and strengthen its capacities to deal with future public health risks. Further support is being anticipated from the World Bank to cope with the emerging pandemic situation.
The project will also equip designated health facilities with personal protective equipment and hygienic materials and increase the diagnostic capacity of laboratories for responding to public health emergencies. It will enhance the National Public Health Laboratory to handle harmful infectious diseases and strengthen public institutions to coordinate and better manage response activities in all three levels of government.
World Bank Country Manager Hadad-Zervos said the World Bank and its development partners are committed to helping Nepal beef up its health infrastructure and access the resources it needs to fight the spread of COVID-19 and protect the livelihoods of its people.
The project is financed from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s concessional credit window for developing countries, through the World Bank Group’s COVID-19 Fast-Track Facility. It will be effective immediately after the signing. It has also an option of World Bank-facilitated procurement as and when required as per the request of the implementing agency, adds the statement.