ISLAMABAD: A World Bank report says that the im­­­plementation of the ‘Pan­­d­­emic Response Effec­tive­n­ess in Pakistan’ project, which is to prepare a res­ponse to Covid-19 in the cou­ntry and strengthen natio­nal systems for public heal­­th preparedness, has been delayed due to the pending PC-I.

Following the instructions issued by the Economic Aff­a­irs Division, federal and provincial PC-Is were pre­­pared for the health component of the project. How­ever, due to a significant de­­lay in their approval process, implementation has been on a pause, according to the report relea­sed by the bank on Nov 21.

The report says a restructuring is planned to amend one of the implementing age­ncies under the project. The World Bank approved $200 million for the project in Ap­­ril. The objective is to prevent, detect and respond to the threat posed by Covid-19 and strengthen systems for public health preparedness.

The $200m package is to help Pakistan take effective and timely action to res­p­­­ond to Covid-19 by stren­gthening the country’s natio­nal healthcare systems and mitigating socio-economic disruptions. This support will also draw an extra $38m from eight existing projects for urgently needed medical equipment and supplies.

The project will help esta­b­lish quarantine facilities in collaboration with public and private hospitals and also supply equipment to hospitals, in­­cluding ventilators and per­sonal protection equip­m­ent for doctors and paramedics.

Published in Dawn, November 24th, 2020

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