World Bank approves US$50 million support for Egypt to fight coronavirus

The World Bank has approved US$50 million to support Egypt’s fight against the coronavirus, with the bank explaining in a Sunday statement that this project will help strengthen Egypt’s prevention, detection and response to the virus.

This support falls under the World Bank Group’s new Fast Track COVID-19 Facility, according to its statement, which is a global initiative to help shorten the time until recovery and support the response against the pandemic.

This project focuses on areas of immediate and vital support within Egypt’s coronavirus plan, it added.

The statement outlined that the project’s support includes funding the acquiring and distributing of medical equipment and supplies, training health workers, operating quarantine areas and isolation and treatment centers, dispatching rapid response teams to contact trace coronavirus cases, developing tools to improve public awareness of coronavirus prevention, and the innovative monitoring and evaluating of social distancing.

Minister of International Cooperation Rania al-Mashat said that the project supports the  efforts of Egypt’s healthcare system, and stressed that coordinating to expedite healthcare spending and prepare for a post-coronavirus economy is a national priority.

“We acknowledge the efforts undertaken by the World Bank Group at these unprecedented times,” the minister said.

The World Bank Country Director for Egypt, Yemen and Djibouti, Marina Wes said that the World Bank is moving quick to help Egypt in its response to the pandemic and its health care.

“This phase of our support aims to protect the poorest and most vulnerable households and help the country implement emergency health operations and strengthen economic resilience,” she said.

“The Global Fast Track Facility includes six billion dollar financing from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA) in immediate support to assist countries coping with the health and economic impacts of the global outbreak,” the World Bank statement reads.

It added that the $50 million funding for Egypt is the largest available from the facility based on its population size criteria.

Both Egypt and the World Bank are discussing future cooperation and support to dampen the short-team impact of the coronavirus, according to the statement, which includes supporting the most vulnerable people and accelerating the nation’s recovery.

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