The World Bank approved a EUR 52.5 million loan from the International Development Association (IDA) to the Republic of Moldova for an Emergency COVID-19 Operation. The project will help Moldova take effective and timely action to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic by strengthening the country’s national healthcare system and mitigating social risks.
While focused on boosting the health sector’s COVID-19 preparedness and emergency response, the project will also provide social protection measures to help poorest and most vulnerable among the population better cope with the immediate impacts of the pandemic.
“The World Bank is fast-tracking its support to Moldova and its people to fight the spread of COVID-19 in the country,” says Anna Akhalkatsi, World Bank Country Manager for Moldova. “The funding will strengthen the country’s capacity to detect and monitor the disease and to save lives. It will also make resources available to expand social assistance to the poor and vulnerable.”
To help detect and prevent the spread of COVID-19, the project will procure urgently needed supplies, including equipment, diagnostic supplies for national laboratories, personal protective equipment, infection protection supplies for frontline staff in hospitals and primary health care facilities, medical equipment, drugs and supplies for intensive care units, and ambulances. The project will train medical staff in COVID-19 care and infection prevention and help build the capacity of medical personnel in critical care provision.
In addition, the project will enhance the capacity of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Social Protection to address current challenges in outbreaks of infectious and vaccine-preventable diseases, and to effectively respond to similar challenges in future.
Finally, the project will support scaling-up of the main anti-poverty program in Moldova, Ajutor Social, as well as introduce an important change in its design. These changes will result in increased support for the most affected groups, prioritizing families with children. This will further result in strengthening Ajutor Social’s effectiveness in addressing challenges posed by the COVID-19 outbreak.
The beneficiaries of the project will be people already infected with COVID-19, at-risk citizens, particularly the elderly, and people with chronic conditions, medical and emergency personnel, service providers in medical and testing facilities, as well as public health agencies engaged in the response to the crisis. Workers and families affected by the pandemic through job loss or loss of other income will be better protected by the expansion in coverage of the government’s Ajutor Social program.
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. We are increasing disease surveillance, improving public health interventions, and helping the private sector continue to operate and sustain jobs. Over the next 15 months, we will be deploying up to $160 billion in financial support to help countries protect the poor and vulnerable, support businesses, and bolster economic recovery, including $50 billion of new IDA resources in grants or highly concessional terms.