World Bank responds to COVID-19 with KSh.1.2 trillion support for affected countries
As coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak spreads further across the globe, the World Bank Group has announced an initial package of up to $12 billion (Ksh1.2 trillion) to assist countries coping with the health and economic impacts of the global outbreak.
This financing is designed to help member countries take effective action to respond and lessen the tragic impacts posed by the COVID-19.
“We are working to provide a fast, flexible response based on developing country needs in dealing with the spread of COVID-19,” said World Bank Group President David Malpass.
The multilateral lender says this new fast track package will help developing countries strengthen health systems and will be globally coordinated to support country-based responses.
This will include better access to health services to safeguard people from the epidemic, strengthening disease surveillance, bolstering public health interventions, and working with the private sector to reduce the impact on economies.
The World Bank says it will support the strengthening of health services and primary health care, train front line health workers, encourage community engagement to maintain public trust, and improve access to treatment for the poorest patients.
It also says it will provide policy and technical advice to ensure countries can access global expertise.
The financial package has been drawn from across the World Bank Group’s subsidiaries which are the International Development Association (IDA), International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and International Finance Corporation (IFC).
Kenya formed a National Emergency Response Committee
On February 28, President Uhuru Kenyatta issued an Executive Order to form a National Emergency Response Committee on Coronavirus to co-ordinate Kenya’s preparedness, prevention and response to the threat of the disease.
The move has seen Kenya Medical Supplies Association (KEMSA) procure 2 million face masks as part of its preparations for any eventualities associated with the coronavirus outbreak.
KEMSA Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Jonah Manjari said the masks will be distributed to areas that are deemed most vulnerable to outbreaks such as airports, hospitals and all entry points.