The World Bank has approved a US$54-million International Development Association (IDA) loan to improve health service delivery to women, children and adolescents in Liberia, according to Africa Business Communities.
The Institutional Foundations to Improve Services for Health (IFISH) project will support the expansion and operationalisation of the new Redemption Hospital in Caldwell, rural Montserrado County.
The project aims to reduce the number of women dying in pregnancy, improve the health, well-being and survival of adolescent girls and contribute to the improvement of Liberia’s Human Capital Index.
It will build on ongoing efforts supported by the World Bank and Global Financing Facility (GFF) to improve the quality of health care and build resilience since the 2014 Ebola outbreak, said Africa Business Communities.
''Through the expansion and modernisation of the hospital, the increased number of qualified health practitioners, as well as improved systems and processes, the project will enhance Liberia’s capacity to provide better health-care services and ability to deal with future pandemics,'' said Khwima Nthara, World Bank country manager for Liberia.
World Bank task team leader Opope Oyaka Tshivuila Matala said the project reflects the country's commitment to addressing systemic challenges in the health sector that contribute to high rates of maternal, adolescent and child deaths in the country.
''This project will play a critical role in saving lives for generations to come. The IFISH project will also train health workers, nurses and midwives, finance selected undergraduate and postgraduate faculties and enhance transparency and effectiveness in the use of government and donor financing in the health sector."
IDA is the World Bank’s fund for the poorest countries. It was established in 1960 and provides grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programmes that boost economic growth, reduce poverty and improve poor people’s lives.
IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 76 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa.
IDA resources help effect positive change in the lives of the 1.6-billion people living in the countries that are eligible for its assistance. Since its inception, IDA has supported development work in 113 countries. Annual commitments are constantly on the rise and have averaged $21-billion over the past three years, with about 61% going to Africa.