WASHINGTON, United States, Thursday April 30, 2020 – St. Lucia will benefit from US$10.5 million activated from World Bank projects to support the country’s COVID-19 response.
This financing will strengthen the island’s efforts to address the health and economic impacts of the pandemic.
“The health and socioeconomic impacts of COVID-19 are placing a heavy burden on the countries of the Caribbean,” said Tahseen Sayed, World Bank Country Director for the Caribbean.
“This immediate World Bank financing will contribute to strengthening Saint Lucia’s healthcare system and support its efforts to manage the impact of the pandemic. It will also provide much needed income support opportunities through the rehabilitation of medical facilities.”
The World Bank said financing for the healthcare system will help increase testing capabilities, build isolation units, and enhance public information campaigns to assist with awareness and prevention.
It will also support the rehabilitation of Victoria Hospital and other medical facilities, creating employment through the associated labor-intensive civil works that will also enhance infrastructure resilience.
The funds were accessed under the Contingency Emergency Response Components of the St Lucia Health System Strengthening Project and the Disaster Vulnerability Reduction Project in the amounts of US$5 million and US$5.5 million, respectively.
The World Bank Group, one of the largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries, is helping developing countries strengthen their pandemic response.
“We are increasing disease surveillance, improving public health interventions, and helping the private sector continue to operate and sustain jobs,” it said. “Over the next 15 months, we will be deploying up to $160 billion in financial support to help countries protect the poor and vulnerable, support businesses, and bolster economic recovery, including $50 billion of new IDA resources in grants or highly concessional terms.”