The World Bank has approved US$50 million in immediate funding to support Kenya’s response to the coronavirus pandemic under an operation called the Kenya COVID-19 Emergency Response Project.The project will provide emergency funding for medical diagnostic services, surveillance and response, capacity building, quarantine, isolation and treatment centres, medical waste disposal, risk communications and community engagement as well as for strengthening of the country’s capacity to provide safe blood services.
“This new fast-track facility will assist Kenya in its efforts to prevent, detect and respond to the threat posed by COVID-19 and strengthen national systems for public health preparedness,” World Bank country director Carlos Felipe Jaramillo said in a statement on Friday.
The project will be implemented in all of Kenya’s 47 counties, with the primary beneficiaries being the infected persons, at-risk populations, medical and emergency personnel, medical and testing facilities, and national health agencies.
The funding is the first in a series of support the World Bank is due to provide to Kenya in response to the unprecedented challenge of COVID-19.
In addition, US$10 million was triggered under the Contingency Emergency Response Component of the Transforming Health Systems for Universal Care Project to fund the National COVID-19 Contingency Plan.
The World Bank Group is rolling out a $14 billion fast-track package to strengthen the COVID-19 response in developing countries and shorten the time to recovery.
The immediate response includes financing, policy advice and technical assistance to help countries cope with the health and economic impacts of the pandemic.
Kenya’s Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe on Thursday disclosed that coronavirus cases in the country increased to 110 after 29 more people tested positive.