The World Bank started to provide financial and technical support to the Plurinational State of Bolivia for the health situation due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) under an emergency component of an active financing, aimed at the strengthening of country’s health system.
The support, totaling US$ 20 million, is focused on attending the immediate and short-term priorities of the health system, including technical assistance to counteract the growth of the virus outbreak in the country.
The purchasing package prioritized by the Ministry of Health includes elements for the detection of the illness, its treatment and the protection of medical professionals. This will include, among others, reactive agents and supplies for testing labs, specific medical instruments, equipment and complementary supplies for intensive care, 500 mechanical ventilators, isolation equipment and materials, disinfection materials, protection equipment and elements for protection of health services personnel. In addition, technical support for the monitoring of suspected and confirmed cases has been planned.
In March 2019, the implementation of the Health Services Networks Project (US$ 300 million) began with the objective of improving access to and quality of health services for 3.8 million inhabitants. Given the current emergency, the new component in this project will allocate US $20 million of those resources for the country to face the impacts of the illness and protect the population as best as possible. Currently, work is underway to mobilize additional resources under the same modality in order to continue strengthening the national health system to address the pandemic effects in the country.
An amendment to the financing agreement was signed to enable this mobilization of resources, which legally ratifies the provision of these funds. The financing will be retroactive from March 12th, so essential purchases are in course.
This immediate response shows the commitment of the World Bank to the health and well-being of all Bolivians.
In addition, there are available financial resources from the initial support fast track package, offered globally by the World Bank Group a few days ago for an amount of up to US$ 14 billion, aimed at helping countries take effective action to respond to and, where possible, lessen the tragic impacts posed by the COVID-19 (coronavirus). Many countries around the world are already making use of this facility.