World Bank approves US$ 128 million for Sri Lanka to cope with Covid 19
The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has a few days back approved a sum of US$ 128.6 million to Sri Lanka’s Covid 19 Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness Project.
The World Bank has stated that the project includes a US$ 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 US$ 93.6 million credit from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s concessional credit window for developing countries.
Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Health and Indigenous Medical Services will implement the project with support from the United Nations agencies and other stakeholders engaged in emergency response, prevention and readiness, the World Bank has said in a statement.
According to the Bank, the goal of the project is to help the country prevent, detect, and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and strengthen its public health preparedness.
“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,” the statement has quoted World Bank Country Director for Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka Idah Z. Pswarayi-Riddihough as saying.
“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,” she has added.
The Bank has further stated that through the project Sri Lanka will be better equipped to respond to emergencies and strengthen existing institutions such as the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, in addition to developing the first Bio Safety Level 3 laboratory at the National Medical Research Institute.
The Bank has stated that the “new fast-track package will benefit the entire Sri Lankan population and prioritise stopping or slowing the spread of the virus, reducing case numbers, and preventing outbreaks in communities.”
“This support will scale up emergency response mechanisms, strengthen the capacity of laboratories and hospitals, treat patients, train medical staff, and raise public awareness about handwashing, hygiene, and social distancing,” the Bank has added.
Sri Lanka has received financial assistance from multilateral agencies as well as local businesses to combat the Covid 19 global pandemic. Therefore, foreign businesses could explore the current requirements of Sri Lanka in facing this global pandemic and provide the requirements. Also, foreign businesses could form links with local businesses in order to supply goods to Sri Lanka.
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