The World Bank has approved $114.28 million for states in Nigeria to boost capacity for COVID-19 response.
In a statement issued on Friday, the bank disclosed that the intervention constitutes $100 million credit from the International Development Association (IDA) and $14.28 million grant from the Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility (PEF).
The fund will be distributed across the 36 states and the federal capital territory (FCT) as grants to support efforts aimed at containing the spread of the coronavirus in the country.
“The World Bank board of directors approved a $114.28 financing to help Nigeria prevent, detect and respond to the threat posed by COVID-19 with a specific focus on state level responses,” the statement read.
“Through the COVID-19 preparedness and response project (CoPREP), the government of Nigeria will provide grants to 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) as immediate support to break the chain of COVID-19 local transmission and limit the spread of coronavirus through containment and mitigation strategies.
“Grants to states will be conditional on states adopting COVID-19 response strategies which are in line with the federal government 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 World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines in the Strategic Response Plan.
“It will also help the government mobilize surge response capacity through trained and well-equipped frontline healthcare workers and strengthen the public health care network for future health emergencies.”
Speaking on the decision, Shubham Chaudhuri, World Bank country director for Nigeria, said the country needs to focus more on efforts within states.
“Nigeria has ramped up its efforts to contain the COVID -19 outbreak, but more needs to done at the state level, which are at the frontline of the response,” Chaudhiri was quoted to have said.
“The project will provide the states with much needed direct technical and fiscal support to strengthen their position in combating the pandemic.”
According to the statement, the project will finance federal procurement of medical equipment, laboratory tests, and medicines to be distributed to the states based on their needs.
“It complements the second regional disease surveillance systems enhancement project (REDISSE II) which is already providing short-term emergency support to implement national and state incident action plans,” the bank added.
The statement also noted that the project will finance further support to all the states including FCT, through the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to implement their COVID-19 incident action plans.
As of August 6, 2020, more than 45,000 samples have tested positive for COVID-19 in Nigeria, but over 30,000 people have recovered.