World Bank Supports Armenia to Combat the Human Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic
New Delhi: In response to the rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic globally, and recently in Armenia, the World Bank is supporting the Government’s response to protect its people amid the coronavirus outbreak. At the request of the Ministry of Health of Armenia, the World Bank has allocated $3 million to address the country’s urgent needs for equipment and supplies needed for the intensive care of people with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis. These funds are supporting the procurement of 50 artificial pulmonary ventilation (APV) devices worth $1.35 million under the ongoing Disease Prevention and Control Project (DPCP).
This procurement became possible due to the application of the streamlined procedures of the World Bank in emergency situations. The technical expertise provided by the World Bank helped to carry out rapid market analysis to ensure value for money amid acute shortages in global supply of medical equipment and increasing prices. As a result, Armenia’s health system will be equipped with additional high-quality devices necessary for treating an increasing number of confirmed COVID-19 cases.
“In these dramatic times the Bank stands ready to support the country’s response to help mitigate the impact of the pandemic,” says Sylvie Bossoutrot, World Bank Country Manager for Armenia. “I would like to recognize the unprecedented dedication of health professionals in Armenia to protect the people. I would also like to strongly encourage each citizen of Armenia to strictly abide by the requirements of these emergency times and observe social distancing and isolation measures aimed at minimizing the impact of the pandemic.”
Similar arrangements will be applied to purchase additional ventilators, as well as personal protective equipment to address immediate healthcare needs. In addition, the World Bank stands ready to reprogram parts of its active ongoing portfolio in Armenia to support the government’s response to COVID-19 in various areas.
The World Bank’s financial and technical support is closely coordinated with that of other international organizations and development finance institutions. In particular, the above equipment will be procured directly through United Nations agencies’ supply channels in view of the current constraints for these types of medical emergency equipment in the global market.
The World Bank Group is rolling out a $14 billion fast-track package to strengthen the COVID-19 response in developing countries and shorten the time to recovery. The immediate response includes financing, policy advice and technical assistance to help countries cope with the health and economic impacts of the pandemic. The IFC is providing $8 billion in financing to help private companies affected by the pandemic and preserve jobs. IBRD and IDA are making an initial US$6 billion available for the health-response. As countries need broader support, the World Bank Group will deploy up to $160 billion over 15 months to protect the poor and vulnerable, support businesses, and bolster economic recovery.