Ousmane Diagana, the Vice President of the World Bank for West and Central Africa has announced that the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank affiliate that helps the world’s poorest countries, is lending Cameroon $29 million to finance the project for the preparation of the country’s response to the COVID-19.
Diagana was in Cameroon on a visit between Sept. 12 and 15, when he made the announcement.
Though the loan was approved in Sept. 2020, the financial convention was only signed in August this year but the project has to end by Sept. 2022.
Cameroon has only one year left to spend the money, which was intended to finance several aspects of the fight against COVID-19 and which had to be spent within two years.
The money is intended to finance the reinforcement of monitoring systems of the virus including the trans-border surveillance, the detection of cases, notifications at entry points, search for contacts by the patients, the reinforcement of the capacities of health agents at the frontlines of the prevention and control of infections, epidemiological inquiries, the provision of data and information to help decision-making and activities for COVID-19 response.
The project also envisages the realisation of evaluations of risk of infectious diseases and their interfaces between humans, animals and ecosystems; the elaboration of recommendations for the reinforcement of surveillance capacities of patients suffering from zoonotic priority diseases and the reinforcement of the sharing of information related to zoonosis between concerned agencies.
The IDA resources will serve in furnishing medical equipment specific to the COVID-19. The money would also be used in acquiring material for the prevention and control of infections and equipment kits for individual protection, the installation of hand-wash facilities in health establishments, the training of medical agents and support personnel who take charge of patients, materials for sanitary hygiene, management systems and the elimination of medical waste, ambulances and medical tents.
The loan would also serve towards the development and putting in place a completely new approaches to behavior and communication of risk aimed at reducing the propagation of the COVID-19 including the promotion of hand-washing, support to community efforts towards distancing, the provision of training to communal agents and benevolent workers, the elaboration and putting in place of sensitization messages and materials and the engagement of principal influencers within the community.
The loan would be reimbursed with an interest of 1.65 per cent from Oct. 15, 2025, to April 15, 2045 but if between Oct. 15, 2045 and April 15, 2050 Cameroon does not completely repay the money, the interest would be moved up to 3.40 per cent.
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