Another $9.4 million for coronavirus fight from World Bank

The World Bank has increased funding to Samoa with another US$3.4 million (T$9.4 million) delivered via an emergency health fund to buy and support laboratory equipment, testing kits, x-ray machines and personal protective equipment.

The grant will also go towards community engagement efforts, training for health workers on detecting and investigating cases or an outbreak of COVID-19 and contact tracing work.

Samoa’s long term work to strengthen its public health laboratory and deal with health care waste will also be addressed with this new fund. 

The Minister of Finance, Sili Epa Tuioti, said the money will be used to keep Samoa free of the coronavirus. 

“This support will be vital in helping the country respond quickly and confidently to any outbreak; help protect our frontline health workers; and will further strengthen our health system for the months and years ahead," he said. 

The new fund brings the World Bank’s total spend in Samoa up to T$59.7 million, including a three-year health sector investment and the agency’s first COVID-19 response contribution of T$14.2 million.

The World Bank’s assistance to the Government of Samoa is being coordinated with other United Nations agencies, including the World Health Organization (W.H.O.), The U.N. Children’s Fund (U.N.I.C.E.F.) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (F.A.O.) as well as other humanitarian organisations.

Samoa has received COVID-19 response assistance from a variety of multilateral and bilateral donors. 

This recent round of World Bank funding joins a major loan announcement over the weekend of T$61.4 million from the International Monetary Fund (I.M.F.) and T$8,218,324 from the Asian Development Bank (A.D.B.).

The Government of New Zealand and the Government of Japan have made contributions of $9,080,553 and $1,822,374 respectively, with New Zealand putting money straight into the Government’s coffers and Japan instead helping procure medical equipment.

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