The Board of Directors of the World Bank, in order to help Nigeria effectively respond to the threat posed by COVID-19 to the country’s economy, has approved a $114.28 million financing package
The grant includes $100 million credit from the International Development Association (IDA) and $14.28 million from the Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility to prevent, detect and respond to the threat with a specific focus on state level responses.
The grant would enable Nigeria to grant immediate support to break the chain of COVID-19 local transmission and limit the spread through containment and mitigation strategies.
Through the COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Project (CoPREP), the World Bank said the Nigerian government would provide grants to the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Grants to states, the World Bank said, would be conditional on states adopting COVID-19 response strategies which are in line with the federal government’s guidelines and strategies.
“CoPREP will enhance the institutional and operational capacity for disease detection through provision of technical expertise, coordination support, detection, diagnosis and case management efforts in all states and the FCT as per the WHO guidelines in the Strategic Response Plan,” the World Bank said.
Besides, the World Bank said the grant would help the government mobilise surge response capacity through trained and well-equipped frontline healthcare workers and strengthen the public health care network for future health emergencies.
The World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, noted that although Nigeria has ramped up its efforts to contain the COVID-19 outbreak, it still needs to do more at the state level, which is at the frontline of the response.
The CoPREP project, Mr Chaudhuri said, would provide the states with much needed direct technical and fiscal support to strengthen their position in combating the pandemic.
In addition, the project would finance federal procurements of medical equipment, laboratory tests, and medicines to be distributed to the states based on their needs.