From: Alice Taylor
World Bank Approves Eur 15 Million Financing to Help Albania Fight COVID-19

Yesterday, the World Bank approved a EUR 15 million financing to Albania to help the country with its response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The money will be used to help prevent, detect, and respond to the pandemic and to strengthen national systems for public health preparedness. The financing will cover a number of interventions designed to strengthen public health services and safeguard lives.

Following a request from the Albanian government, the project will start immediately. Surveillance and contact tracing will be strengthened as will widespread population testing. Investments in healthcare and public laboratory requirements, PPE, and intensive care beds will also be made. 

In addition to this, the project will also train medical staff in COVID-19 care and infection prevention. 

This funding comes as Albania has entered the reopening phase and registered a surge in cases of the virus.

“The World Bank stands with the people of Albania during this unprecedented crisis. I would like to recognize the extraordinary dedication of health professionals in Albania to save people’s lives and strongly encourage citizens to strictly follow social distancing and other restrictive measures aimed at minimizing the impact of the pandemic”, said Maryam Salim, the World Bank Country Manager for Albania. “Given the uncertainty about the evolution of the pandemic, the design of the project is flexible to accommodate needs that are likely to change as knowledge about COVID-19 epidemiology evolves.”

The beneficiaries of the project will be people already infected with COVID-19, at-risk citizens, particularly the elderly, and people with chronic conditions, medical and emergency personnel, service providers in medical and testing facilities, as well as public health agencies engaged in the response to the crisis.