World Bank Approves US$20 Million Grant to Support COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Response in Haiti

World Bank press release, April 1, 2020

WASHINGTON – April 2, 2020 – The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved a US$20 million grant for the Haiti COVID-19 Response Project. This project aims to respond to the threat posed by COVID-19 through testing and improved treatment in Haiti.

“The rapidly evolving COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic requires urgent action to prevent outbreak and save lives in Haiti,” said Anabela Abreu, World Bank Country Director for Haiti. “The World Bank is working in partnership with the Haitian Government and donor community to respond effectively to the threat posed by COVID-19 by preparing the country’s medical system to diagnose and treat this infection.”

Haiti faces significant risks from the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the first cases have been officially confirmed, the risk of local transmission has increased, and a state of emergency was declared on March 20. Vigorous response measures will be essential to reduce the spread of the virus, otherwise there is a high potential for the number of COVID-19 cases in Haiti to rise significantly.

The new Haiti COVID-19 response project aims to limit the transmission of COVID-19 in Haiti through detection, infection control in health facilities, and access to best care possible for people who become ill. This includes enhancing testing, minimizing spread through contact tracing of confirmed cases, and providing needed laboratory and protective equipment for healthcare staff to ensure quality of care as pressure on the medical system increases. The project will also support communications activities to help community members understand what they can do to prevent spread and counter misinformation. The project supports the COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan developed by the Ministry of Health.

Financing for this project is a grant from the International Development Association, as part of new Fast Track Financing approved by the WBG on March 3, 2020 to help countries worldwide face this pandemic.

World Bank Group COVID-19 Response

The World Bank Group is rolling out a $14 billion fast-track package to strengthen the COVID-19 response in developing countries and shorten the time to recovery. The immediate response includes financing, policy advice and technical assistance to help countries cope with the health and economic impacts of the pandemic. The IFC is providing $8 billion in financing to help private companies affected by the pandemic and preserve jobs. IBRD and IDA are making an initial US$6 billion available for the health-response. As countries need broader support, the World Bank Group will deploy up to $160 billion over 15 months to protect the poor and vulnerable, support businesses, and bolster economic recovery.

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