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The Financial Express

Coronavirus response: Government seeks $100m from World Bank

FHM HUMAYAN KABIR | Published: March 21, 2020 09:46:11 | Updated: March 23, 2020 19:43:24


Reuters file photo Reuters file photo

The government sent a project concept paper to the World Bank (WB) last week, seeking fund for facilitating surveillance, investigation and rapid response system to stop spreading Coronavirus outbreak in Bangladesh, officials said on Friday.

It sought fund worth US$100 million for implementing the project, which will also be used to improve the country's public sector health service capability, they added.

The Economic Relations Division (ERD) officials said they sought the fund from the Washington-based lender on an emergency basis in response to the COVID-19 epidemic in Bangladesh.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has already announced Bangladesh as one of the most vulnerable nations in terms of spreading the deadly virus among people.

The government has so far detected 20 Coronavirus positive cases, and of them, one person has already died.

"We've sent a concept paper prepared by the Ministry of Health to the WB last week. We are expecting that the lender will respond to it soon," ERD Additional Secretary Shahabuddin Patwary told the FE.

He said they are hopeful of completing all the procedure for confirming the $100 million fund from the WB within one to two months.

"It will be used for implementing proposed works under the project concerned of the ministry."

"We are expecting $100 million from the WB's newly-announced $14-billion package," he added.

The Washington-based lender has declared the financial package to respond to various deadly contagious diseases across the globe.

Out of the $14 billion, $8.0 billion will be disbursed by the WB's concessional wing - International Development Association (IDA), and the rest by the lender's other wings.

According to the project concept paper, the ministry will build rapid response teams for deploying to handle the COVID-19 epidemic, and for improving surveillance, case investigation and capability of the public health services.

Earlier, the government sent request to Chinese government for donating investigation kits, masks and personal protection equipment amid the countrywide Coronavirus outbreak.

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