WASHINGTON, USA – The World Bank board of executive directors approved US$15 million in additional financing for health sector projects in the Eastern Caribbean. The financing replenishes funds that were redirected from these projects to support the countries’ immediate emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The World Bank provided speedy financing to Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines by allocating resources from existing health projects to fast-track procurement of essential medical equipment and to strengthen medical facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Tahseen Sayed, World Bank Country Director for the Caribbean. “A strong health sector is essential to save lives and build countries’ resilience. The additional financing ensures that important health projects receive quick replenishment of funds to continue their activities and accomplish project objectives.”
Additional financing of US$10 million is provided to the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Regional Health Project in Dominica (US$3 million), Grenada (US$2.5 million), and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (US$4.5 million). The OECS Regional Health Project aims to improve preparedness capacities of health systems for public health emergencies. Additional financing of US$5 million was also approved for Saint Lucia’s Health System Strengthening Project, which supports improved accessibility, efficiency, and responsiveness of key health services. These projects rapidly released funds to support national responses to COVID-19 using their Contingent Emergency Response Components (CERCs). CERCs allow funds to be reallocated rapidly from existing projects and used for emergency response activities.
The additional financing for these projects comes from the International Development Association (IDA) with a maturity of 40 years, including a grace period of ten years.