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Kyrgyzstan gets World Bank financing to respond to COVID-19 pandemic
The World Bank’s Board of Directors approved today $12.15 million from the International Development Association (IDA) for the Kyrgyz Republic Emergency COVID-19 Project. In addition, $9 million dollars of financing from an on-going World Bank project will be reallocated to support the country’s efforts to prepare for and respond effectively to the health and social risks associated with the global COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, the World Bank Country Office for the Kyrgyz Republic reported.
“The purpose of the Emergency COVID-19 Project is to save lives and prevent further contagion,” says Bolormaa Amgaabazar, World Bank Country Manager for the Kyrgyz Republic. “The funding will support the Kyrgyz Republic’s Contingency Plan for COVID-19, including provision of appropriate preventive measures, procurement of essential medicines, supplies and equipment, minimization of risks for frontline health workers, and treatment of patients.”
To help detect and prevent the spread of COVID-19, urgently needed supplies will be procured, including testing kits, laboratory reagents, and personal protective equipment for medical personnel. Rapid Response Teams in the capital and in seven regions of the country will receive vehicles specifically for the transfer of equipment and supplies. Medical staff will receive training in COVID-19 care and infection prevention, as well as longer-term capacity-building in critical care provision through other development partners including the World Health Organization (WHO).
The project will also procure Intensive Care Unit (ICU) equipment and supplies to establish or renew 10 eight-bed fully equipped ICUs in designated hospitals, which will include mechanical ventilators, cardiac defibrillators, mobile x-rays, oxygen concentrators, and other essential equipment. Another 20 ICUs and 100 isolation rooms in 24 hospitals around the country will undergo emergency repairs to ensure patient and staff safety.
In addition, $9 million dollars is being reallocated from the ongoing World Bank-financed Enhancing Resilience in Kyrgyzstan Project which has a mechanism known as a Contingent Emergency Response Component (CERC) that allows governments to quickly access undisbursed funds in World Bank projects to respond to emergencies.
“The World Bank has responded quickly to the request of the Kyrgyz Republic to reallocate $9 million from the Enhancing Resilience in Kyrgyzstan project,” said Amgaabazar. According to the World Bank official, the funding will be made available within a few days and used to procure 20 fully equipped ambulances, mobile equipment for Rapid Response Teams, and personal protection equipment for frontline medical staff in intensive care units, designated hospitals, and primary healthcare centers. Lifesaving essential drugs, syringes, infusion sets, and any other urgent needs can also be procured as needed.
The Republican Headquarters for the Prevention of the Spread of COVID-19, led by the Prime Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic, will play a steering role in the overall national response, including the COVID-19 project activities. The World Bank’s procurement and financial management procedures will be applied to ensure transparency in the implementation of these projects.
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. The immediate response includes financing, policy advice and technical assistance to help countries cope with the health and economic impacts of the pandemic. The IFC is providing $8 billion in financing to help private companies affected by the pandemic and preserve jobs. IBRD and IDA are making an initial $6 billion available for the health-response. 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.