By Usman Sulyman
The World Bank board of directors has approved the sum of $114.28m funds to help Nigeria prevent, detect and respond to the threat posed by COVID-19 with a specific focus on state level responses.
The bank said this in a statement titled ‘Nigeria to boost states capacity for COVID-19 response’ released on Friday.
According to the statement, the bailout funds included $100m credit from the International Development Association and $14 .28m grant from the Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility.
The bank said, “Through the COVID-19 preparedness and response project (CoPREP), the government of Nigeria will provide grants to 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory as immediate support to break the chain of COVID-19 local transmission and limit the spread of coronavirus through containment and mitigation strategies.”
It said that grants to states would be conditional on states adopting COVID-19 response strategies which were in line with the Federal Government guidelines and strategies.
“CoPREP will enhance the institutional and operational capacity for disease detection through provision of technical expertise, coordination support, detection, diagnosis and case management efforts in all states and the FCT as per the WHO guidelines in the strategic response plan,” it stated.
It said it would also help the government mobilise such response capacity through trained and well-equipped frontline healthcare workers and strengthen the public health care network for future health emergencies.
The World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, said, “Nigeria has ramped up its efforts to contain the COVID-19 outbreak, but more needs to be done at the state level, which are at the frontline of the response.”