By: The Kabul Times
KABUL: The World Bank has approved a $100.4 million grant for the fight against COVID-19 in Afghanistan, according to a statement by the organization. The fund is part of the Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness Project of the World Bank to help Afghanistan take effective action to respond to the threat posed by COVID-19 and strengthen its public health preparedness, the statement said. By Thursday, 273 positive cases of the coronavirus have been reported in Afghanistan. The total number of COVID-19 deaths in the country is six, according to the Ministry of Public Health. The new “fast-tracked” package will cover all 34 Afghan provinces and reinforce essential health care services to slow down the spread of COVID-19 across Afghanistan, the statement said. The project is financed by a grant from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank Group’s fund for the poorest countries, in the amount of $100.4 million, of which $19.4 million is provided from the World Bank’s COVID-19 Fast-Track Facility, according to the statement. The plan will be implemented by the Ministry of Public Health, and supported by UN agencies and service providers already working under the Sehatmandi project, the statement added. “The World Bank stands firm with the Afghan government and people to fight the spread of COVID-19 in the country,” said Henry Kerali, World Bank country director for Afghanistan.