Yesterday, The World Bank approved $7 million in immediate funding to support Malawi’s response to the global COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic under a new Malawi COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness project. In addition to the new operation, $30 million has been made available from the Disaster Risk Management Development Policy Financing with a Catastrophe Deferred Drawdown Option (Cat-DDO) to strengthen the country’s response to the pandemic.
The Malawi COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness project will provide funding towards detection, surveillance, response and system strengthening activities prioritized in the Malawi COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan. That plan is also being financed by several Development Partners. The Disaster Risk Management Development Policy Financing with a Catastrophe Deferred Drawdown Option (Cat-DDO) will support a broad range of economic policy initiatives and smooth out the macro-economic shocks that COVID19 is expected to impose on the Government’s finances.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is challenging both Malawi’s economy and its fragile health system.” says Greg Toulmin, World Bank Country Manager for Malawi. This funding will therefore support the Government of Malawi’s economic policy response by mitigating likely revenue shortfalls, as well as helping to address critical care needs for COVID-19 response by strengthening national systems for public health response and addressing the burden that COVID-19 will place on the fragile health system which risks undermining continuity in routine care.”
The new COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness project is designed to support Malawi’s National Preparedness and Response Plan for COVID-19 by strengthening disease surveillance systems and capacity for early detection and confirmation of cases, equipping treatment centers and quarantine units, and training health workers and rapid response teams. The Cat-DDO funds will provide initial support to mitigate the likely revenue shortfall and economic recovery initiatives.
The World Bank Group is taking broad, fast action to help developing countries strengthen their pandemic response, increase disease surveillance, improve public health interventions, and help the private sector continue to operate and sustain jobs. It is deploying up to $160 billion in financial support over the next 15 months to help countries protect the poor and vulnerable, support businesses, and bolster economic recovery.