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World Bank, partners provide US$1 million for Lao COVID-19 control

Ministry of Health, World Bank, and the Embassies of Australia, Germany, and Japan held a joint press conference on Friday to announce a grant of US$1 million from the Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility (PEF) to support Laos’ response to COVID-19.
Speaking at the press conference Minister of Health, Dr Bounkong Syhavong, said the government of Laos is taking all the necessary measures to address the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The support from development partners will help us intensify our efforts and strengthen our national response capacity,” he said.
Country Manager of the Lao PDR Country Office, East Asia and Pacific, Mr Nicola Pontara said, “We are pleased to confirm that the grant amount of US$ 1 million has been approved”. The grant will be channelled directly to UNICEF, and the World Health Organisation (WHO), which are PEF-accredited responding agencies.
According to the Ministry of Health, it would direct 80 percent of the grant to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), which will implement finance procurement and the delivery of vaccines to ensure continuity of essential health services.
The other 20 percent will go directly to the WHO to strengthen the capacity of Laos’ health personnel for COVID-19 response at the national and sub-national levels.
The grant will support the priority activities of the Laos National Preparedness and Response Plan and will be implemented as part of the World Bank’s Fast Track COVID-19 Facility.
The PEF was established in 2016 to help Internation Development Association (IDA)-eligible countries get funding to fight large-scale, cross-border disease outbreaks.
The PEF Steering Body operations are overseen by donors (Australia, Germany, Japan), international organisations (including the WHO, UNICEF, and the World Bank), and two IDA- eligible countries. Voting members of this body are Australia, Germany and Japan; the World Bank and WHO serve as co-chairs of the steering body and are non-voting members. FAO, IFRC, UNFPA, UNICEF, WFP and WHO are the six accredited responding agencies of the PEF and, if requested by the government, FAO, IFRC, UNFPA, UNICEF, can receive financing directly from the PEF to support the country’s health response to outbreaks.


 

By Times Reporters
(Latest Update July 14, 2020)


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