Zimbabwe has received US$6.68 million from the World Bank to enhance its response measures in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic under the Zimbabwe Covid Emergency Response Project (ZCERP).
The bank has extended nearly US$1 billion funding assistance to Zimbabwe since independence, including commercial loans which have been temporarily suspended over pending arrears.
Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube said at the signing ceremony in Harare Wednesday the gesture by the Breton Woods institution symbolised strong partnership and deepened cooperation with the worldwide lender. He said:
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the World Bank executive directors for approving the grant of US1,575 million from the Energy Sector Management Assistance (ESMAP) on Thursday, 3 March, 2023 which is co-financed by US$5 million from the Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Trust Fund (HEPRTF).
The coming into effect of this grant will go a long way in supporting Government efforts in the deployment and management of Covid – 19 vaccines and strengthening related health systems capacity.
Minister Ncube said the support came at a time when the Government has already spent over US$122 million on the procurement of vaccines from various countries.
He said the Government was committed to continuing mobilising additional resources to ensure the target population was fully vaccinated and livelihoods were protected.
He added the Government also appreciated the complimentary support received from development partners amounting to US$150 million towards mitigating the negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
World Bank country director Ms Mara Warwick said the ZCERP was introduced as an additional layer to the support the World Bank had been providing to the health sector through the Health Sector Development Support Project (HSDSP) and the Zimbabwe Idai Recovery Project (ZIRP).
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