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World Bank grants Nigeria $82m to strengthen COVID-19 response initiatives

The World Bank Group says it has released a total of $82 million for immediate support in strengthening the public health response to the rampaging Coronavirus (COVID-19).

The World Bank said in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday that the fund was released through its Regional Disease Surveillance System Enhancement Project (REDISSE).

The statement also explained that in addition to the new fund, the World Bank had been asked to provide a multi-pronged package of support over the next six months to strengthen the country’s preparedness for the immediate health crisis.

The statement indicated that the World Bank would also provide the Federal Government 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. 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 dollars has already been committed to support 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,” the bank said.

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