World Bank approves $100 million loan for Philippines' pandemic fight


Posted at Apr 23 2020 10:31 AM

Health workers conduct their routine swab testing severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) on their fellow hospital employees at the Sta. Ana Hospital in Manila on April 14, 2020. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The World Bank said Thursday it approved a $100 million (P5 billion) loan to boost the Philippines' capacity to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The loan will support the Department of Health's COVID-19 Emergency Response Project, which aims to improve the delivery of critical medical services, the World Bank said in a statement.

The project will focus on providing personal protective equipment such as goggles, gloves, gowns, drugs, medical supplies, laboratory equipment and test kits, it said. It will also support the supply chain and to ensure equipment will reach the facilities without delay, it said.

It will also support the preparation of a standard design for isolation facilities and treatment centers. Expansion and retrofitting of key reference laboratories are also part of the project, the World Bank said. 

“Boosting the country’s capacity to respond to COVID-19 will save lives. The government has taken quick and decisive action in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and the World Bank is proud to support its efforts," World Bank Acting Country Director for Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand Achim Fock said. 

The World Bank earlier approved a $500 million financing to strengthen the country's coronavirus response. The Finance Department said it was eyeing additional financing to boost its COVID-19 warchest.