The World Bank Board of Executive Directors has approved a $30 million grant from the International Development Association (IDA) to improve the quality and utilization of essential health services in The Gambia.
The Essential Health Services Strengthening Project will provide performance-based financing grants to health facilities, scale up community engagement to improve utilization of quality health services; and build resilient and sustainable health systems to support the delivery of quality health services. This will include the renovation of selected health facilities and the establishment of a national blood transfusion service.
“The project will build on the success of the Maternal and Child Nutrition and Health Results project and the ongoing COVID-19 Preparedness and Response project to improve access and use of primary health care services for all in The Gambia,” said Feyifolu Boroffice, World Bank Resident Representative to The Gambia.
In the long term, it is expected that the project will help reduce maternal and child mortality, therefore contributing to improve The Gambia’s Human Capital Index.
For Samuel Mills, World Bank Task Team Leader for the Project, “the project would address key constraints to effective health service delivery with a focus on results, thereby contributing to achieving universal health coverage in The Gambia.”
The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 76 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change to the 1.6 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 113 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $21 billion over the last three years, with about 61 percent going to Africa.
By Haddija Jawara