World Bank approves $137.5 million for Somalia’s response to COVID-19, floods, and drought

News DeskBy News Desk

The World Bank approved 137.5 million to prevent, detect and respond to the threat posed by COVID-19 and to scale up life-saving assistance to the people affected by floods in the country.

The Bank said Saturday it approved the funding to help the Horn of Africa nation to respond to and recover from multiple, ongoing, and overlapping crises.

The Project will support the government’s plan by supporting rapid procurement of critical medication and equipment needed for treatment of coronavirus infections. In addition, the project will provide immediate support to the areas hardest hit by these crises by supporting the recovery of livelihoods and infrastructure in flood and drought affected areas and will also strengthen Government’s systems and capacity for disaster preparedness.

World Bank country director Felipe Jaramillo said Somalia has undergone many challenges which hindered the country to tackle poverty and other devastating crises but noted the country’s resumption of relations with international financial institutions enables it to access the much-needed funding to respond to emerging threats such as COVID-19.

“Increasingly frequent and devastating crises are impeding Somalia’s chances of breaking out of a cycle of fragility and poverty. Even as it recovers from drought, Somalia faces a triple shock of locust, flooding, and now COVID-19,” said Jaramillo.

The Bank said $20.5 million of the total amount will be used to fight against the COVID which has also wreaked havoc in the country.

Finance Minister Abdirahman Beileh lauded the development move by the World Bank noting it will go a long way in establishing sustainable solutions.

“FGS sees this project as a key opportunity for effectively addressing a humanitarian-developmental transition and laying the foundation for the implementation of a longer-term investment in the recovery and development of the country,” said Beileh.

Somalia has so far recorded the highest number of COVID19 cases in the East Africa region and in the Horn of Africa with over 1300 confirmed cases.