World Bank boosts COVID-19 in Uganda with UGX56Bn


Kampala – World Bank Uganda, on Friday, April 3, supported the fight of COVID-19 in Uganda with $15m (57bn), RedPepper Digital’s Jolly Gwari reports.

The funds will be re-allocated from the reproductive maternal and child health services improvement project according to Antony Thompson, the World Bank Uganda Country director.

“The funds will be re-allocated from the Reproductive Maternal and Child Health Services Improvement Project. The bank will be put back from the Fast-Track Facility, which is funding the Coronavirus responses in different countries” he said.

Uganda is still in the early stage of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the impact is already being felt especially due to the lockdown. Children cannot go to schools, factories, offices, markets, means of transport all closed. Low earners are finding it hard to feed their families. More so, the vulnerable groups, pregnant mothers, sick people hassle to get medical attention/care.

The risks posed by coronavirus are especially high for millions of people who live in poverty or have recently emerged from it. Therefore, the World Bank Group is acting quickly to step up support as countries respond to the COVID-19 crisis and face a wide range of consequences.

World Bank Group launched its first operations for COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Emergency Health Support, Strengthening Developing Country Responses on 2, April 2020.

World Bank Country Manager – Uganda, Antony Thompson. (File Photo)

The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved a first set of emergency support operations for developing countries around the world, using a dedicated, fast-track facility for COVID-19 (coronavirus) response.

In addition, the World Bank is working worldwide to redeploy resources in existing World Bank-financed projects worth up to $1.7 billion, including through restructuring, use of emergency components of existing projects (CERCs) and triggering of CAT DDOs and spanning every region.

The World Bank Group is prepared to deploy up to $160 billion over the next 15 months to support COVID-19 measures that will help countries respond to immediate health consequences of the pandemic and bolster economic recovery. The broader economic program will aim to shorten the time to recovery, create conditions for growth, support small and medium enterprises, and help protect the poor and vulnerable. There will be a strong poverty focus in these operations, with an emphasis on policy-based financing, and protecting the poorest households and the environment.

Notably, Uganda as a country has approved for UGX304Billion supplementary budget for the pandemic fight. Notably, there are different companies that have contributed to the fight of coronavirus such as UBA Uganda donated UGX 570m to the government for coronavirus fight, SCD Uganda that contributed UGX 200 million; MTN Uganda donated UGX500m, Darling Uganda, makers of women’s hair, have contributed UGX200m, Uganda Red Cross Society has contributed UGX297M

Other companies and churches have contributed things like food, mattresses, basins, blankets, protective gear, masks, and mosquito nets, and sanitizers.

In addition, the government on 4, April 2020 commenced the distribution of food in Wakiso and Kampala to help support the vulnerable groups who are being affected by COVID-19. The food package will be delivered directly to people’s homes through their local council one chairperson. The food has already been well packed and sealed in the form of 6kgs of Posho, 3 kgs of beans and a half kilogram of salt while lactating mothers are to be given additional milk and sugar.

Some of the responses on twitter following the 57bn donation from World Bank

Baguma: Thanks..they should give it as equipment equivalent like ventilators, respirators, ICU beds, protective gear, rapid testing kits for Ugandans to be assured proper value otherwise our priorities are usually misplaced. We might put in social media advertising, billboards, security.

Duncan Keith: This contribution to the fight against COVID 19 is greatly appreciated. From a prevention point of view let’s all follow the @MinofHealthUGand @KagutaMuseveni guidelines. #Tonsemberera #StayHomeStaySafe

Eugene Swinnerstone: Get us equipment worth this money else it will be diverted into unnecessary things.

John Patson: How much money was the ministry asking? This figure looks too big! $15M = 56,661,900,000 I think with these 56.6 billion every Ugandan can be tested! People also need food!

Sheila Kulabya: That’s the idea – that every Ugandan who needs to get tested has access

Ideas Nsumba: Thanks …….we as Ugandans will be waiting for our politicians to get the funds and use it for God knows what- but it won’t be used on COVID-19 but we appreciate all the efforts from@MinofHealthUG @JaneRuth_Aceng and her team.

Mulinda George William: We expect transparency and proper handle of the funds towards the fight of this pandemic. Thanks, world bank ug

Rose Ritah: This is so wonderful I just hope the money is put to good use so that we get necessary supplies forehand and not wait for increase in cases and panic.

Pyati Sololo: A good part of this money will fund the NRM campaigns. This is a shot in the arm, thanks!

Tusingwire Patrick: kindly take note of this & make sure you don’t release the supplementary funds that have been requested. This time let us save taxpayers money. From the exorbitant budgets, we have seen we are worried.

Beth: We need to test every Ugandan, equip our ICUs with ventilators, equip frontline health workers with enough and safe PPEs and also increase their pay. However, testing testing should be done rapidly

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