The World Bank has approved a $100 million loan to Turkey to support its efforts to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
“The project is part of the World Bank’s $14 billion global Fast Track Facility,” said a bank statement last Friday.
The project, implemented by Turkey’s Health Ministry, is meant to support government efforts to curb the virus’ spread and strengthen the overall health system to detect and treat cases.
It aims to strengthen testing and surveillance systems and the procurement of front-line equipment to address urgent needs for medical equipment and supplies.
“The funding will strengthen Turkey’s capacity to avert the potentially high health and human cost of the COVID-19 pandemic by reinforcing mitigation and disease management,” said Auguste Tano Kouame, the World Bank country director for Turkey.
With the actions supported by this project, the bank hopes to help save lives, he added.
“Given the nature of the disease, the population at large will benefit from this project,” said Ahmet Levent Yener, the project’s task leader.
He added that some 20 million people are expected to benefit from the initiative, including people who contracted the virus, at-risk populations (particularly the elderly and people with chronic conditions), migrant families, medical and emergency personnel, medical and testing facilities, and public health agencies engaged in the response in Turkey.
The project will also aim to enhance public health awareness and behavioral change, which will expand community engagement and outreach activities to increase the commitment of the government, private sector, and civil society, to build knowledge, confidence and trust.
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