The World Bank approved an additional US$15.2M to support Uganda’s effort to detect, prevent and respond to COVID-19 pandemic.
The funds will also go towards strengthening Uganda’s national systems for public health emergency preparedness under a new operation called the Uganda COVID19 Response and Emergency Preparedness Project.
The project is financed by an International Development Association (IDA) credit of US$12.5M and a grant of US$2.7M from the Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility.
The project aims at reducing the financial gap under the country’s COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan by boosting COVID prevention, detection, case management and the overall health system readiness.
The primary beneficiaries will be the infected persons, host communities and at-risk populations, medical and emergency personnel, refugees, medical and testing facilities and selected national health agencies.
“Uganda has built significant capacity in managing different pandemics over the years but the COVID-19 poses unique challenges. These funds will provide the necessary resources to boost the current effort on COVID-19 but also strengthen the country’s overall health security system so that it can effectively respond to future pandemics” said Tony Thompson, World Bank Country Manager for Uganda.
In March the World Bank gave Uganda US$15M under the Contingency Emergency Response Component (CERC) to support prevention and early detection, hand sanitizers, testing kits, procure Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for health workers, transport media and consumables, thermal scanners and screening equipment. The funds will also be used to raise awareness about the risk factors for COVID-19 through community engagement.
World Bank also recently approved US$300M to support Uganda’s budget operation that will extend subsidies and tax exemption to supplies and equipment used in the treatment of COVID-19 and provide immediate relief to individual and businesses that have been affected the most by the pandemic.
“This emergency operation will help Uganda contain the COVID-19 outbreak and help bolster support in areas that are critically needed, such as in disease surveillance, testing and case management.
“The support provided will help scale-up ongoing efforts, and ensure that Uganda’s response remains swift and targeted, with the goal of minimizing the overall health impact,” said Julia Mensah, Operations Officer and Task Team Leader.
Original article: The Exchange