World Bank to Support Central Asian Countries Struggling With Covid-19 Fallout

The World Bank is working on a project to support livestock and digital development in Kazakhstan. The first project will help small-scale livestock farmers and the government integrate the national livestock development program. The second project will contribute to the development of artificial intelligence to help oversea the industrys. So far, preliminary financing stands at approximately $500 million per project. The final details are still under consideration.

Photo credit: WorldBank.org

The World Bank has provided more than $370 million to Central Asian countries to fight against coronavirus as part of their first effort aimed at COVID-19 emergency health support.  

“The World Bank has quickly mobilized funds to counter the COVID-19 pandemic. We are also reviewing our investment portfolio in the region with the governments of Central Asian countries worth $9.7 billion to provide additional funds to strengthen healthcare systems and reduce the economic impact of COVID-19,” said World Bank Regional Director for the Central Asia Lilia Burunciuc during the May 14 online briefing.

The financial assistance aims to increase the effectiveness of national healthcare systems and primary healthcare, improve epidemiological monitoring, and train health workers interacting with infected patients.

The funds will also be used to procure medical equipment, including test kits, laboratory reagents, equipment for intensive care units, and personal protective equipment for health workers.

The Central Asian governments will be able to expand programs to provide social protection to the vulnerable groups, establish an online education system and solve other priorities as part of mitigation measures aimed at the pandemic. 

Earlier, the World Bank allocated $10 million for the purchase of 236 mechanical ventilation devices (IVL) to Kazakhstan as part of the restructuring of the social health insurance project. Additionally, $17 million was granted for the purchase of 123 mechanical ventilation devices as well as other medical equipment.

The World Bank provided $11.3 million to Tajikistan to expand the emergency care capacity. Some $21 million was allocated for Kyrgyzstan for the procurement of necessary medical and laboratory equipment, ambulances, mobile equipment for emergency teams and personal protective equipment for health workers.

The bank allocated $95 million to Uzbekistan to improve the national healthcare system and support vulnerable groups within society. Some $200 million were aimed at providing additional funds to the budget amid a significant reduction in tax revenues and an unforeseen increase in spending as part of a government anti-crisis program to mitigate the socio-economic effects of the pandemic. In addition, $17 million was allocated to improve the emergency medical care system in Uzbekistan. 

The World Bank is working with the regional governments to create an in-depth analysis of the situation and to study existing projects to reorganize and reallocate resources. The bank plans to mobilize additional funding to rebuild national economies.  

The World Bank Group announced plans April 2 “to deploy up to $160 billion over the next 15 months to support COVID-19 measures that will help countries respond to the immediate health consequences of the pandemic and bolster economic recovery.”

 

 

Get The Astana Times stories sent directly to you! Sign up via the website or subscribe to our Twitter and Telegram!