The World Bank Board of Directors today approved a US$ 35 million emergency loan to support the Argentine government efforts to minimize the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the health system through the procurement of medical supplies and equipment. This financing forms part of a World Bank fast track package of up to US$ 14 billion to help countries cope with the health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Argentina’s Health Minister, Ginés González García, said: “With these resources, we will continue to strengthen the quality of the healthcare system response by supporting the provinces and delivering medical equipment to achieve equal access for all Argentines.”
The project supports the implementation of the comprehensive COVID-19 preparedness and response plan, especially with respect to the provision of specific supplies and logistical support to the healthcare system to contain the pandemic, as well as to mitigate its impact, including adequate treatment to lessen morbidity and mortality.
“These are difficult times for everyone, but particularly for the poorest segments. We are working rapidly to ensure that Argentina has the resources it needs to strengthen its health response capacity and thus to limit the social and economic impact of this pandemic,” said Jordan Schwartz, World Bank Director for Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay.
The project will focus on improving laboratory facilities to guarantee the early detection and localization and tracking of cases. It will also contribute to the procurement of medical supplies and equipment for the protection of healthcare personnel, as well as to the improvement and expansion of intensive care services.
The COVID-19 Urgent Response Project is financed with a variable-spread loan with a 32-year maturity period and a seven-year grace period.