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$16m World Bank boost for Fiji’s health sector

June 25, 2020 4:54 pm
The World Bank has approved funding approximately $16 million to further support the Fijian Government to strengthen its health systems in the wake of the COVID-19 emergency.

The World Bank has approved the funding of approximately $16 million to further support the Fijian Government.

This is to strengthen its health systems in the wake of the COVID-19 emergency.

With Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama having declared Fiji COVID-19 free, the focus is now turning to efforts to provide longer-term health security for Fijians, and to the economic recovery phase.

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This World Bank support will assist the government to strengthen its response to future infectious disease outbreaks like the current COVID-19 pandemic.

This support includes improved connectivity for 35 health facilities throughout Fiji, as well as support for other health sector ICT innovations.

The project will also provide additional medical supplies including Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), intensive care unit beds, and ventilators, as well as the installation of a medical incinerator that will serve three divisional hospitals in Fiji, including the CWM Hospital.

Fiji had 18 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country and the government was able to contain the initial spread of the virus through its quick, proactive, and intensive response measures that were implemented nationwide.

Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says with the pandemic still raging around the globe, Fiji can’t rest on our success against COVID-19.

Sayed-Khaiyum says this critical support from the World Bank will allow Fiji to build on its progress, further strengthening the defences particularly our health systems and initiatives in the months ahead.

He says as Fiji adapts to the ‘new normal’ of a post-COVID world, this support will allow, Fiji, to arm the frontline health workers in a way that not only helps us get through this crisis but also prepares us for future epidemics and pandemics.

The World Bank’s US$7.4m commitment to Fiji is being delivered through a US$6.4m dedicated emergency health project through the International Development Association (IDA).

This financing is provided on concessional terms under the Small Islands Economies Exception with 0% interest, a 10-year grace period, and 40 years maturity.

The additional US$1million grant will be drawn from the Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility (PEF) Insurance fund.

 

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