The World Bank approved a U.S. $ 100 million (around P5 billion) loan on April 23 to help increase the Philippines’ capacity to combat COVID-19.
According to the World Bank, the loan is for the Department of Health’s (DOH) Emergency Response Project, which aims to improve the delivery of critical medical services all over the country.
The project will focus on providing personal protective equipment such as goggles, gloves, medical gowns, essential medicines, medical supplies, laboratory equipment, and test kits. It will also support delivery systems and help address logistical concerns to ensure that the necessary equipment will reach facilities without delay, the World Bank statement said.
Additionally, the project will fund the expansion of the country’s current laboratory capacity in order to help prevent and prepare for the disease’s spread. The project will also support the retrofitting of the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine (RITM), along with six sub-national and public health laboratories in Baguio, Cebu, Davao, and Manila. Financing the construction and expansion of laboratories in priority regions who do not have these facilities yet will also be covered by the project.
“Boosting the country’s capacity to respond to COVID-19 will save lives. The government has taken quick and decisive action in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and the World Bank is proud to support its efforts,” World Bank Acting Country Director for Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand Achim Fook said.
On April 9, the World Bank approved a U.S. $500 million loan to finance the Philippines’ COVID-19 response, help strengthen the national government’s capacity to address disaster risks, and to recover from natural disasters.
Main image from jarmoluk / Pixabay.