The World Bank Board of Directors approved today a loan of US$20 million to support Paraguay in strengthening its health system in the face of the coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19). In the context of the country’s current health situation, already affected by the worst dengue outbreak in recent years, the project will help strengthen the already overburdened health system through the purchase of medical supplies and equipment.
“The Bank’s support to the countries’ economies is crucial in this crisis situation that we are all facing. Paraguay is taking preventive measures to protect its inhabitants and the Bank’s resources will contribute to providing more equipment and supplies to hospitals and health centers to treat those affected. We are in an emergency situation where everyone’s support is fundamental” stated Benigno López, Minister of Finance of Paraguay.
The financing will be assigned to improve laboratories equipment in order to have early detection tools and achieve better location and traceability of cases. It will also help strengthen the clinical care capacity in specialized hospital units to increase availability of beds and provision of intensive care medical services. Likewise, the purchase of medical supplies, personal protection equipment for health personnel and improvement of the emergency network and its ambulances are planned.
“These are difficult times for everyone, but especially for the poorest. For this reason, urgent measures must be taken so that countries such as Paraguay, which have already been dealing with difficult epidemics such as dengue, can face, prevent and reduce contagion and loss of life, especially in those most vulnerable,” expressed Jordan Schwartz, World Bank Director for the Southern Cone.
The financing is part of a package of up to US$14.000 million in support from the World Bank, for countries that must face the health and economic impacts of this global outbreak. The global financing package will help strengthen the national public health preparedness systems, particularly with regard to disease containment, diagnosis and treatment.
The financing of theCOVID-19 Emergency Response Project has a fixed margin, repayable in 31 years and a grace period of 9 years.