MINSK, 22 May 2020— The World Bank has approved a €90 million package to help Belarus take effective and timely action to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic by strengthening the country's national healthcare system, BelTA learned from the World Bank representative office in Belarus.
“The project will address the healthcare system's immediate needs for medical equipment, supplies, and training to treat severe cases of COVID-19, including through provision of modern ventilators, pain medication, and antibiotics, as well as personal protective equipment for health workers,” the World Bank office said.
Furthermore, the project will finance communications activities to promote social distancing and hygiene best-practices.
The project will also strengthen public health laboratories and epidemiological capacity for early detection, confirmation, and reporting of cases. It will finance medical supplies and equipment to help detect COVID-19, including testing kits, personal protective equipment, laboratory reagents, and training. In addition, the project will help with the acquisition and distribution of modern ambulances and essential ambulance equipment.
“This project complements longer-term World Bank support to Belarus' healthcare systems, including the ongoing Belarus Health Systems Modernization Project, and a potential future project to support hospital consolidation and long-term care that has been requested by the Government of Belarus,” the WB office noted.
Since the Republic of Belarus joined the World Bank in 1992, lending commitments to the country have totaled $1.9 billion. The active investment lending portfolio financed by the World Bank in Belarus includes nine projects totaling $942.71 million.
The World Bank Group is taking broad, fast action to help developing countries strengthen their pandemic response. The Bank will be deploying up to $160 billion in financial support over 15 months to help more than 100 countries protect the poor and vulnerable, support businesses, and bolster economic recovery. This includes $50 billion of new IDA resources through grants and highly concessional loans.