The World Bank on Friday gave Zambia $25m to help the country respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The announcement was contained in a statement released by the World Bank office in Zambia.
The funds were approved by the bank’s board on Oct. 20, and would be channelled through the Zambia COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness Project, the statement said.
According to the statement, 20 million dollars came from the International Development Association (IDA), while 5 million dollars is a grant funding from the bank’s global financing facility.
The financing would support the government to respond, prevent, and detect threats posed by the pandemic and strengthen national systems for public health preparedness, the statement added.
It will also support disease surveillance and strengthen surveillance at the entry points.
World Bank Country Manager Sahr Kpundeh said in the statement that “while Zambia has seen a reduction in new cases of COVID-19 in the last two months, it is important that prevention, detection and response measures are scaled up to prevent further spread of the disease.’’
Rapid response is crucial in addressing COVID-19 and to reduce its negative impact on health systems, social services and economic activities, he added.
Rosemary Sunkutu, Senior Nutrition and Population Specialist and Task Team Leader of the project said the project would help strengthen screening at entry points.
“This component of the project is especially important given that Zambia is a landlocked country surrounded by eight countries.
“This predisposes the country to risks of importing diseases from neighbouring countries and beyond.
The funding is part of a broad package of support by the World Bank Group to help Zambia manage and respond to the pandemic.