The World Bank said Thursday it has approved a total of 100 million U.S. dollars to help improve healthcare services in Somalia.
The project, which seeks to improve healthcare services is financed by a 75-million-dollar grant from the International Development Assistance (IDA) and an additional 25 million dollar grant from the Global Financing Facility for Women, Children and Adolescents (GFF).
“The project will help catalyze Somalia’s resilient growth by improving health and productivity during and after the COVID-19 pandemic,” World Bank Country Manager for Somalia, Kristina Svensson said in a statement issued in Mogadishu.
The World Bank said the project will deliver essential health and nutrition services and improve health service coverage and quality in some of Somalia’s most disadvantaged areas, including Nugaal (Puntland), Bakool and Bay (South West), Hiraan, and Middle Shebelle (Hirshabelle)
According to the lender, around 10 percent of Somalia’s population, as well as internally displaced persons (IDPs) and nomads in the target regions, will benefit from the project activities.
“We are using the best of our resources by combining IDA and trust fund investments to help Somalia strengthen its essential healthcare services and working with government leadership in the health sector to meet its Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 3 and 5) commitments,” Svensson said.
World Bank Task Team Leader, Naoko Ohno said the project will help the government build its leadership and stewardship capacity in the sector, while responding to immediate service gaps by rapidly increasing essential service coverage through working with partners
“There are substantial challenges in the health sector, and the country needs to lay the foundation for a resilient health system to improve health outcomes and respond to external health challenges,” she added.
According to the World Bank, Somalia’s lagging health outcomes reflect the country’s insecurity, vulnerability, and poverty, limiting opportunities for people to access basic social services, including health and education. The average life expectancy is 56 years and the fertility rate, at 6.9 children per woman, is among the highest in the world.