The World Bank has approved $20 million for Cambodia’s Covid-19 response and its strategic plan to combat the virus.
“The project will help Cambodia meet the targets set out in its Covid-19 master plan, which includes strengthening disease prevention activities, rapid detection, and preparedness and response,” said the bank’s press release issued April 3.
In the release, World Bank Country Manager for Cambodia Inguna Dobraja said the fast-tracked financing will help Cambodia confront the unprecedented global health emergency.
It would help Cambodia to source much-needed medical supplies and facilities to diagnose and treat Covid-19, reduce the spread of infection, strengthen pandemic response capabilities, and shorten the recovery time for people and the economy.
Government Spokesperson Phay Siphan could not be reached for comment, while Ministry of Health spokesperson Or Vandine said she has not received information on the matter.
The World Bank said the project would finance the construction of quarantine centres and treatment facilities, and help increase the diagnostic capacity of laboratories in all 25 of the country’s provincial and municipal referral hospitals.
It will also finance the purchase of medical supplies required to treat patients and prevent the spread of infection.
The bank said the project will also help in the deployment of rapid response teams across the Kingdom by hiring and training additional staff and strengthening the capacity of the ministry’s emergency operation centres.
The emergency response project complements the longer-term development work the World Bank is supporting in the health sector, including the Health Equity and Quality Improvement Project (H-EQIP), which is improving access to quality health services for the poorest of Cambodians, it said.
It added that $14 million of the H-EQIP project funds were allocated through a Contingency Emergency Response Component (CERC) to purchase ambulances and medical equipment and to quickly develop national laboratory capacity to rapidly respond to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The CERC allows funds to be redirected from parts of the H-EQIP project to cover emergency response needs.
The immediate response includes financing, policy advice, and technical assistance to help countries cope with the health and economic impacts of the pandemic, the press release said.