COVID-19: World Bank Approves $114m For Nigeria

The World Bank Board of Directors has approved the sum of $114.28 million for Nigeria to boost States Capacity for COVID-19 pandemic response.

Nigeria’s World Bank Country Director, Shubham Chaudhuri, made this known in a statement on Friday.

The financing, according to him, includes $100 million credit from the International Development Association (IDA) and $14.28 million grant from the Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility to help Nigeria prevent, detect and respond to the threat posed by COVID-19 with a specific focus on state level responses.

Chaudhuri said, “Through the COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Project (CoPREP), Nigeria will provide grants to its thirty-six states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in order to limit the spread of coronavirus in the communities through containment and mitigation strategies.

“Grants to states will be conditional on states adopting COVID-19 response strategies which are in line with the Federal Government guidelines and strategies.

“CoPREP will enhance the institutional and operational capacity for disease detection through the provision of technical expertise, coordination support, detection, diagnosis and case management efforts in all states and the FCT as per the WHO guidelines in the Strategic Response Plan.”

The World Bank chief further said the funds will help the government mobilise surge response capacity through trained and well-equipped frontline healthcare workers and strengthen the public health care network for future health emergencies.

He commended the country for ramping up its efforts to contain the COVID-19 outbreak but says more needs to done at the state level, which are at the frontline of the response.

“The project will provide the states with much needed direct technical and fiscal support to strengthen their position in combating the pandemic.

“In addition, the project will finance federal procurements of medical equipment, laboratory tests, and medicines to be distributed to the states based on their needs.

“It complements the Second Regional Disease Surveillance Systems Enhancement Project (REDISSE II) which is already providing short-term emergency support to implement national and state Incident Action Plans,” Chaudhuri explained.

He added that CoPREP will finance further support to all States and FCT through the NCDC to implement their COVID-19 Incident Action Plans.

The action plans include: the operationalization of 37 Emergency Operations Centers; training of 30,000 healthcare workers in infection prevention and control; support for emergency prioritized water sanitation and hygiene activities; strengthening of risk assessment and community and event-based surveillance; provision of on-time data to inform the response and mitigation activities; additional support to laboratories for early detection and confirmation; equipping and renovating isolation and treatment centers including community support centers; and improving in patient transfer systems through financing of ambulances and training as needed.

Deborah Adegoke

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