The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved a $7.3 million Maldives COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness Project to help the country prevent, detect, and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and strengthen its public health preparedness. In addition, a $10 million contingency financing, under Disaster Risk Management Development Policy Financing with a Catastrophe Deferred Drawdown Option (CAT DDO), signed in 2019, has also been made available to support Maldives.
The new fast track package of $7.3 million will help Maldives provide optimum care to patients, procure personal protective equipment and medical supplies, support hospitals to maintain essential services, strengthen intensive care and cope with a potential surge in demand, strengthen the capacity of laboratories in the capital Male’ and the atolls to diagnose the coronavirus, and train medical staff to manage COVID-19 cases. The project will also support risk communication, community engagement and behavior change, focusing on Male’, where transmission is more likely, due to high population density.
“The World Bank’s new emergency financing will help the Maldives government alleviate the impact of COVID-19 and help it strengthen health services and acquire medical resources necessary to protect and treat all Maldivians,” said Idah Z. Pswarayi-Riddihough, World Bank Country Director for Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. “The additional $10 million will help to mitigate the risks and vulnerabilities associated with the health crisis.”
The project is financed from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s concessional credit window for developing countries, through the World Bank Group’s Fast Track COVID-19 Facility. It will be implemented by the Ministry of Health with support from existing World Bank Group projects in the country.