Washington: The World Bank approved today a US$20 million project to help Jordan face the health impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak. The new COVID-19 Emergency Response project will support the Ministry of Health’s efforts in preventing, detecting and responding to the threat posed by the pandemic and strengthen public health preparedness.
This fast-track assistance package falls under the US$ 6 billion COVID-19 Strategic Preparedness and Response Program approved by the World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors on April 2, to strengthen the responses of developing countries to the pandemic.
“Like its neighbors, Jordan is affected by a pandemic whose impacts expand beyond the health sector and cause an economic slowdown and weaker growth prospects,” said Saroj Kumar Jha, World Bank Mashreq Regional Director. “The Government of Jordan has taken strong measures to contain and mitigate the COVID-19 outbreak. Supporting the Ministry of Health’s ability to face this health crisis is crucial to prevent a set-back in the significant improvements in health outcomes Jordan has achieved over the past two decades”.
“This timely support from the World Bank to Jordan is key to strengthen the Ministry of Health’s ability to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak in line with the National Preparedness and Response Plan”, said Dr. Wissam Rabadi, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation. “Jordan was one of the first countries in the region, if not the world, to take early and strict measures to contain and mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The results of this policy can be seen already as the trend in number of cases shows a decline. As the country reopens gradually in the coming few weeks, we will require more support to maintain and improve our efforts to ensure the outbreak is properly contained and mitigated, and that we do not witness a new surge in the numbers.”
The project aims to help prevent and contain the spread of COVID-19 in Jordan by providing support to enhance case detection, testing, recording and reporting, as well as contact tracing, risk assessment and clinical care management. The project will help the Ministry of Health implement the National Preparedness and Response Plan over the next two years and will complement the support already provided by development, humanitarian and private sector partners. The plan, which was prepared with WHO, will be updated periodically to identify financial requirements for several outbreak scenarios.