The Board of Executive Directors of the World Bank has approved a package for Pakistan of $200 million (over Rs33 billion) to help the country take effective and timely steps to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the World Bank (WB), this funding would also attract an estimated $38 million from eight existing programs that will help federal and provincial governments purchase the necessary equipment and supplies.
The Pandemic Response Effectiveness Project (PREP) will also help the poor and vulnerable cope with the immediate impact of the pandemic through social security initiatives, food rations, and remote learning education, while concentrating on the COVID-19 preparedness and emergency response in the health sector, the World Bank said in a statement.
“The World Bank is ramping up its support to Pakistan and its people to fight the spread of COVID-19 in the country,” said Illango Patchamuthu, World Bank Country Director for Pakistan.
“PREP will help strengthen the country’s capacity to detect and monitor the disease. In addition, it will also make available resources to support cash transfer through existing arrangements to the poor and vulnerable. We will continue to partner with Federal and Provincial Governments to ensure effective implementation during these testing times.”
The quarantine facilities will be built in partnership with public and private hospitals under the PREP programme. Additionally, the hospitals will be supplied with equipment i.e. ventilators and personal protective equipment for doctors and paramedics.
The project is funded in the amount of $200 million from the International Development Association (IDA), the concessional loan fund of the World Bank for developing countries, of which $100 million is given through the COVID-19 Fast-Track Facility of the World Bank Sector.