The World Bank Group has approved the release of $82 million to the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) as requested by the federal government.
The approved funds are to support the fight against COVID-19 in Nigeria as it would be through the World Bank’s regional disease surveillance system enhancement(REDISSE) project.
REDISSE was created by the World Bank to strengthen national and regional capacity for disease surveillance and epidemic preparedness in West Africa and also provide an immediate response in the event of a crisis.
Announcing the government’s economic stimulus package on Monday, Zainab Ahmed, the minister of finance, budget and national planning, had said NCDC had access to $90 million from the World Bank out of which it had drawn $8 million.
In a statement on Tuesday, the Bretton Wood institution said it had been asked to provide a multi-pronged package of support over the next six months to strengthen Nigeria’s preparedness for the immediate health crisis.
The bank added that it would also provide the federal government of Nigeria with budget support for a pro-poor stimulus package and the long term recovery.
“Efforts to protect livelihoods and support local economic activities over the next 18 to 24 months will be critical in mitigating the economic and human impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the bank said.
“Together with partners, the bank is discussing with the states and relevant federal agencies how best to protect livelihoods of poor and vulnerable families and support Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises to enable recovery.
“Through the REDISSE project, about $10.6 million has already been committed to supporting the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control in strengthening states’ emergency operation centre, building, renovating and providing equipment for treatment centres across eight states.
“As well as bringing in essential medical supplies and drugs, testing kits, personal protective equipment for frontline health workers.”
Of a total of 238 confirmed cases, Nigeria has recorded 35 recoveries and five deaths as of Tuesday.