Ethiopia and the World Bank Group’s today signed $82.6 million financing agreement ($41.3m grant & $41.3 million credit) to help the country mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The agreement was signed by Ahmed Shide, Minister of Finance and Ms. Carolyn Turk, the World Bank Country Director for Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan and South Sudan.
Due to the current global Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the signing was done via electronically, complying with the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation for social distancing.
“Although Ethiopia has achieved significant gains in improving health outcomes and strengthening its health system, the COVID 19 outbreak is expected to challenge the nation’s public health preparedness and response systems and negatively impact the economy,” said Carolyn Turk.
“The project will provide much needed emergency funds to help Ethiopia to fill critical resource gaps in its public health emergency preparedness.”
The new COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness Project is designed to help Ethiopia develop counter measures to lessen the devastating effects of COVID-19.
The project will support Ethiopia’s National Preparedness and Response Plan for COVID-19 by financing the procurement of medical supplies and equipment, building diagnostic capacity and training, improving the health screening of people entering into the country, and establishing quarantine, isolation and treatment centers.
It will also support communications and information outreach activities to encourage behavioral change, such as social distancing, hand washing and sanitation.
Furthermore, the project will help the country to reduce the potential impact of the epidemic on health systems, social services and economic activity.
The World Bank Group is rolling out a $14 billion fast-track package to strengthen the COVID-19 response in developing countries and shorten the time to recovery.
As countries need broader support, the World Bank Group will deploy up to $160 billion over 15 months to protect the poor and vulnerable, support businesses, and bolster economic recovery.