The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank on Wednesday approved a $4.16 million grant to South Sudan to support emergency response to the Covid-19 pandemic and strengthen the country’s fragile health system.
The grant, from the Transitional Support Facility of the bank’s African Development Fund, will provide funding for a project to enhance the capacity of South Sudan’s health facilities as well as detection and control of cases of the virus.
In a statement seen by the EastAfrican, the organisation stressed that South Sudan remains at high risk due to a limited hospital bed capacity, skills gaps and lack of functioning medical equipment.
“The bulk of activities under the project will focus on improving facilities for management of Covid-19 cases, including procurement of oxygen cylinders and recruitment and training of health workers. It will improve capacity for detection of cases and the tracing of contacts” read the statement.
According to the bank, the project will be implemented by a team at the World Health Organization in close coordination with South Sudan’s Ministry of Health.
AfDB says the project falls under the framework of its Covid-19 Response Facility of up to $10 billion, which is its main channel for helping to cushion African countries from negative health and economic impacts.
As of Friday, South Sudan had recorded 1,942 Covid-19 cases, with 224 recoveries and 36 deaths.
South Sudan became a member of the African Development Bank in 2012, shortly after gaining independence from Sudan in 2011.