World Bank supports Nigeria’s COVID-19 response with $114m

The World Bank has approved $114.28 million to help Nigeria boost its capacity for COVID-19 response.

In a statement released by the bank on Friday, the intervention constitutes $100 million credit from the International Development Association and $14.28 million grant from the Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility.

Daily Times gathered that the fund is expected to be distributed across the 36 states and the FCT, as grants to support efforts aimed at containing the spread of the virus in the country.

It will also finance federal procurement of medical equipment, laboratory tests, and medicines to be distributed to the states based on their needs.

“The World Bank board of directors approved a $114.28 financing to help Nigeria prevent, detect and respond to the threat posed by COVID-19 with a specific focus on state-level responses.

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“Through the COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Project (CoPREP), the government of Nigeria will provide grants to 36 states and the FCT as immediate support to break the chain of COVID-19 local transmission and limit the spread of coronavirus 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 World Health Organisation guidelines in the Strategic Response Plan.

“It will also help the government mobilize surge response capacity through trained and well-equipped frontline healthcare workers and strengthen the public health care network for future health emergencies,” World Bank stated.

It further explained that the project will provide the states with much needed direct technical and fiscal support to strengthen their position in combating the pandemic.

“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,” it added.

The bank said the project will finance further support to all the states including the FCT, through the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, to implement their COVID-19 incident action plans.

As of August 6, 2020, more than 45,000 samples have tested positive for COVID-19 in Nigeria, while over 30,000 people have recovered.

Shubham Chaudhuri, World Bank Country Director for Nigeria said the country needs to focus more on efforts within states to combat the virus.

“Nigeria has ramped up its efforts to contain COVID -19 outbreaks, but more needs to be done at the state level, which is at the frontline of the response,” he said.

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Oluwadamilola Adedeji

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