World Bank fast-tracks $128 Million COVID-19 support for Sri Lanka

The International Development Association (IDA) and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) of the World Bank Group agreed to provide financing assistance amounting to United States Dollars (USD) 128.6 million to the Sri Lankan effort to battle against Covid 19 outbreak.

These funds will be mobilized through the Government Budget during the period from 2020 to 2023.

Signing of the agreements of Sri Lanka COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness Project took place today on April 03, 2020 at the Ministry of Finance and Mr. S R Attygalle, Secretary to the Ministry of Finance, Economic and Policy Development and Ms. Idah Pswarayi-Riddihough, Country Director of the World Bank signed the agreements on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka and the World Bank, respectively.

In response to the increasing COVID 19 incidence in the country, the Government of Sri Lanka has initiated urgent and effective measures to slow the spread of the virus by testing and treating patients, contact tracing of those found positive, limiting travel, mandatory quarantine for anyone coming from countries affected by COVID-19, closing borders to prevent transmission from further travellers, cancelling large gatherings and creating awareness.

The project will focus on limiting local transmission of COVID-19 by strengthening capacities of the health system for contact tracing, case finding, confirmation, reporting, and responding to surge capacity through trained and well-equipped health workers and medical officers of health and primary health doctors and equipped facilities, strengthening Surveillance and Response Systems, strengthening health care facilities capacity for emergency response, improving community engagement and risk communication and provision of social and financial support to households.

Further the project will support for the strengthening national and sub-national institutions for prevention and preparedness through strengthening the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID), establishment and strengthening of subnational emergency operation centers, establishment of Bio-Safety Level (BSL) 3 laboratory facilities at the National Medical Research Institute (MRI) and strengthening laboratory facilities and information systems. (Colombo Gazette)


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