The World Bank Group’s (WBG) Board of Directors has granted a $50m emergency response to Egypt under its new Fast Track COVID-19 Facility.
Egypt qualified for the $50m in funds, the maximum available to the country under the facility, based on the population size criteria.
The WBG facility, worth a total of $6bn, includes direct support to World Bank (WB) member states, enabling them to overcome the pandemic’s health and economic implications.
It has been set up as a global effort to strengthen the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic response, whilst also accelerating a global economic recovery.
The facility provides funds to countries based on their population size, with the larger the population meaning the larger the size of funds available.
Countries with a population of up to 20 million are qualified to receive $20m, whilst those with a population of up to 50 million are qualified to receive $35m. Countries with a population of up to 100 million are qualified to receive up to $50m, those with a population up to 250 million are qualified to receive $100m. In turn, states with a population up to 1 billion are qualified to receive $250m, whilst those with populations exceeding 1 billion are entitled to $350m.
The new Fast Track COVID-19 Facility aims to strengthen the global prevention and detection response to the coronavirus pandemic. In the case of Egypt, the funds will be used for the immediate and critical areas of support identified by the government’s national coronavirus response plan.
The funds will be distributed among several areas, including procuring and distributing medical equipment and supplies necessary for the response to the virus as well as healthcare worker training. Part of the funds will also go to the operation of specifically designated quarantine, isolation and treatment centres.
In addition to this, there will be a mobilisation of rapid response teams in the contact tracing of confirmed cases.
This comes in addition to the development of contextualised messaging platforms and tools to improve public awareness on preventing the virus from spreading, and innovative Monitoring and Evaluation of social distancing strategies including community mobilisation.
Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat said the facility supports Egypt’s preparation efforts and healthcare system governance.
With extra support on board, the country can look forward to further coordinated action to increase healthcare spending and pave the way for an inclusive post-coronavirus economic recovery as a national priority.
“The World Bank is quickly mobilising to help Egypt strengthen its pandemic response and health care systems,” said Marina Wes, World Bank Country Director for Egypt, Yemen and Djibouti.
Wes added, “This phase of our support aims to protect the poorest and most vulnerable households and help the country implement emergency health operations and strengthen economic resilience.”