MONROVIA, Montserrado – The World Bank has donated 15 ambulances to the Ministry of Health to address current logistical challenges in the country’s COVID-19 response efforts.
According to a press release issued by the United Nations Office for Project Services, the ambulances were delivered on Friday, October 23. The donation is worth more than US$870,000 and was mobilized by the World Bank. However, the ministry had requested UNOPS to handle the procurement and delivery of the ambulances.
“The ambulances have contributed to the government’s efforts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and its recovery by ensuring continuous health services amidst the pandemic. It will also improve access to health and socio-economic support for vulnerable groups, including women and children,” the release said.
Receiving the ambulances, Health Minister Wilhelmina Jallah lauded the World Bank for its continuous contribution to the country’s health sector.
“On behalf of the president of the Republic of Liberia and the Ministry of Health and the [Incident Management System] and all those who have been participating in the COVID-19 [response], I want to say thanks for this donation. We will ensure that these ambulances will be used for their intended purpose which is to service our people,” Dr. Jallah was quoted in the release.
“So, we accept, and we want to thank UNOPS for the delivery and even taking up the responsibility to procure these ambulances under the World Bank Project. We also want to thank the World Bank and our local team for all the work that they do together to collaborate and coordinate to make sure that these ambulances reach.”
Since the country reported its first COVID-19 case in March, the World Bank continues to provide support to the government in its response efforts.
Earlier, the World Bank provided more than 43,000 Coronavirus testing kits to the country. The Bank’s Board of Executive Directors also recently approved an envelope of $12 billion for developing countries to finance the purchase and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, tests, and treatments for their citizens.
According to a World Bank’s release, the financing aims to support the vaccination of up to a billion people, as part of its overall package of up to $160 billion through June 2021 to help developing countries fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
It adds new financing to the World Bank’s COVID-19 emergency response programs that are already reaching 111 countries, including Liberia.
Featured photo by James Suah