World Bank fast tracks US$ 128.6 million to combat COVID-19 | Daily News


To complement existing preventive strategies in Sri Lanka

World Bank fast tracks US$ 128.6 million to combat COVID-19

The International Development Association (IDA) and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) of the World Bank Group hav agreed to provide financing assistance amounting to United States Dollars (USD) 128.6 million (approx Rs.25,000 million) to the Sri Lankan effort to battle against the Covid 19 outbreak. These funds will be mobilized through the Government Budget during the period from 2020 to 2023.

The World Bank is working closely with the Government of Sri Lanka to contain the spread of COVID-19 and prepare the country for potential future disease emergencies,” said Idah Z. Pswarayi-Riddihough, World Bank Country Director for Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. “Sri Lanka has already taken preventive measures to contain this rapidly evolving pandemic and protect its people. Our support will complement these efforts and help reduce future risks.”
Signing of the agreements of Sri Lanka COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness Project took place at the Ministry of Finance and Mr. S R Attygalle, Secretary to the Ministry of Finance, Economic and Policy Development and Ms. Idah Pswarayi-Riddihough, Country Director of the World Bank signed the agreements on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka and the World Bank, respectively.
In response to the increasing COVID 19 incidence in the country, the Government of Sri Lanka has initiated urgent and effective measures to slow the spread of the virus by testing and treating patients, contact tracing of those found positive, limiting travel, mandatory quarantine for anyone coming from countries affected by COVID-19, closing borders to prevent transmission from further travellers, cancelling large gatherings and creating awareness.
The project will focus on limiting local transmission of COVID-19 by strengthening capacities of the health system for contact tracing, case finding, confirmation, reporting, and responding to surge capacity through trained and well-equipped health workers and medical officers of health and primary health doctors and equipped facilities, strengthening Surveillance and Response Systems, strengthening health care facilities capacity for emergency response, improving community engagement and risk communication and provision of social and financial support to households.
Further the project will support for the strengthening national and sub-national institutions for prevention and preparedness through strengthening the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID), establishment and strengthening of subnational emergency operation centers, establishment of Bio-Safety Level (BSL) 3 laboratory facilities at the National Medical Research Institute (MRI) and strengthening laboratory facilities and information systems. 
A news release from the World Bank said its Board of Executive Directors approved the $128.6 million Sri Lanka COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness Project to help the country prevent, detect, and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and strengthen its public health preparedness.
The new fast track package will benefit the entire Sri Lankan population and prioritize stopping or slowing the spread of the virus, reducing case numbers, and preventing outbreaks in communities. 
The project includes a $35 million loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) through the World Bank Group’s COVID-19 Fast-Track Facility and a $93.6 million credit from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s concessional credit window for developing countries. The Ministry of Health and Indigenous Medical Services will implement the project with support from United Nations agencies and other stakeholders engaged in emergency response, prevention, and readiness.

World Bank provides $128 Mn. to fight against COVID-19 - (15:53)

The World Bank Board of Directors has approved a USD128.6 million credit to help the country prevent and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The World Bank issuing a statement said that, The new fast track package will benefit the entire Sri Lankan population and preventing outbreaks and slowing the spread of COVID-19.

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