COVID-19: WB endorse $114.28M for Nigeria

The World Bank has approved $114.28 million financing to help Nigeria prevent, detect and respond to the ravaging impact of COVID-19 but with specific focus on state level responses.

The statement by the bank on Friday disclosed the amount covers $100 million credit from the International Development Association (IDA) and $14.28 million grant from the Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility.

It stated that the Federal Government would provide grants to thirty-six states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) through the COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Project (CoPREP). It stressed that the project would serve as immediate support to break the chain of COVID-19 local transmission and limit the spread of coronavirus through containment and mitigation strategies.

Mr Shubham Chaudhuri, World Bank Country Director for Nigeria said: “Nigeria has ramped up its efforts to contain the COVID -19 outbreak, but more needs to be done at the state level, which are at the frontline of the response. He said, “The project will provide the states with much needed direct technical and fiscal support to strengthen their position in combating  the pandemic.”

He stated further that the project would finance federal procurement of medical equipment, laboratory tests and medicines to be distributed to the states based on their needs, while stressing that the project complemented the Second Regional Disease Surveillance Systems Enhancement Project (REDISSE II) which was already providing short-term emergency support to implement national and state Incident Action Plans.

Furthermore, he revealed that all the 36 states had incident action plans cleared by the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) and funds had been disbursed to 23 states. Accordingly, CoPREP would finance further support to all states and the FCT through the NCDC to implement their COVID-19 Incident Action Plans. It further stated that grants to states would be conditional on states adopting COVID-19 response strategies in line with the Federal Government guidelines and strategies.

“Specifically, this includes: 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; and strengthening of risk assessment and community and event-based surveillance.”

Others are: “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.”

“CoPREP will enhance the institutional and operational capacity for disease detection through 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.

He ended the conversation by saying, this effort will as well help the government mobilize surge response capacity through trained and well-equipped front line healthcare workers and strengthen the public health care network for future health emergencies.

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