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World Bank approves $20m project to support Jordan’s COVID-19 response

By JT - Apr 28,2020 - Last updated at Apr 28,2020

Jordan was one of the first countries in the region to take early and strict measures to contain and mitigate the spread of COVID-19, according to Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Wissam Rabadi (Photo by Amjad Ghsoun)

AMMAN —The World Bank (WB) on Tuesday approved a $20 million project to help Jordan face the health impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak. The new COVID-19 Emergency Response project will support the Ministry of Health’s efforts in preventing, detecting and responding to the threat posed by the pandemic and strengthening public health preparedness.

According to a WB statement made available to The Jordan Times, this fast-track assistance package falls under the $6 billion COVID-19 Strategic Preparedness and Response Programme approved by the World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors on April 2 to strengthen the responses of developing countries to the pandemic.

“Like its neighbours, Jordan is affected by a pandemic whose impacts expand beyond the health sector and cause an economic slowdown and weaker growth prospects,” said Saroj Kumar Jha, WB Mashreq Regional Director, in the statement.  

The Government of Jordan has taken strong measures to contain and mitigate the COVID-19 outbreak. Supporting the Ministry of Health’s ability to face this health crisis is crucial to prevent a set-back in the significant improvements in health outcomes Jordan has achieved over the past two decades,” he said.

Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Wissam Rabadi said: “This timely support from the World Bank to Jordan is key to strengthen the Ministry of Health’s ability to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak in line with the National Preparedness and Response Plan.”

According to Rabadi, Jordan was one of the first countries in the region to take early and strict measures to contain and mitigate the spread of COVID-19. “The results of this policy can be seen already as the trend in the number of cases shows a decline,” he said.

“As the country reopens gradually in the coming few weeks, we will require more support to maintain and improve our efforts to ensure the outbreak is properly contained and mitigated, and that we do not witness a new surge in the numbers,” he was quoted in the statement as saying.

The project aims to help prevent and contain the spread of COVID-19 in Jordan by providing support to enhance case detection, testing, recording and reporting, as well as contact tracing, risk assessment and clinical care management, the statement said.

The project will help the Ministry of Health implement the National Preparedness and Response Plan over the next two years and will complement the support already provided by development, humanitarian and private sector partners. The plan, which was prepared with the WHO, will be updated periodically to identify financial requirements for several outbreak scenarios.

The World Bank Group, one of the largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries, is taking broad, fast action to help developing countries strengthen their pandemic response, according to the statement.

Among its activities during the pandemic are increasing disease surveillance, improving public health interventions and helping the private sector continue to operate and sustain jobs.

Over the next 15 months, the WB will be deploying up to $160 billion in financial support to help countries protect the poor and vulnerable, support businesses and bolster economic recovery, the statement concluded.



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