Somali women and children among 1.84 million to benefit from improved health services

The World Bank has approved the Somalia Health Services Improvement Project known as ‘Damal Caafimaad’, which is funded by US $ 75 million in international development assistance (IDA) and an additional US $ 25 million grant from the Global Financing Mechanism for Women, Children and Adolescents (GFF). This project is the World Bank’s first investment in Somalia’s health sector in 30 years.

The project will provide essential health and nutrition services and improve the coverage and quality of health services in some of Somalia’s most disadvantaged areas, including Nugaal (Puntland), Bakool and Bay (South West), Hiraan and Middle Shebelle (Hirshabelle). About 10 percent of the Somali population, as well as internally displaced persons (IDPs) and nomads in target regions, will benefit from project activities. In order to build effective institutions for stability and economic growth, the project will also strengthen the management capacity of the Somali Federal and State Ministries of Health.

“We use the best of our resources by combining IDA and investments in trust funds to help Somalia strengthen its essential health services and work with government leaders in the health sector to achieve its goal of sustainable development (SDGs 3 and 5), ”said Kristina Svensson, World Bank Country Director for Somalia. “The project will help catalyze resilient growth in Somalia by improving health and productivity during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Somalia’s poor health performance reflects the country’s insecurity, vulnerability and poverty, limiting opportunities for people to access basic social services, including health and education. The average life expectancy is 56 years and the fertility rate, at 6.9 children per woman, is among the highest in the world. Additionally, poor health outcomes are underscored by poor health service delivery: for example, only 11 percent of children in Somalia are fully immunized. Globalization underway COVIDThe -19 pandemic further exposed the weakness of the Somali health system, highlighting the need to invest more in the nascent health sector and its institutions.

“The Somali people have long suffered from recurring humanitarian and health emergencies. The health sector presents significant challenges and the country must lay the foundations for a resilient health system in order to improve health outcomes and respond to external health challenges. Said Naoko Ohno, head of the World Bank task force. “The Damal Caafimaad project will help the government build its capacity for leadership and stewardship in the sector, while addressing immediate service gaps by rapidly increasing coverage of essential services by working with partners.”

The project incorporates lessons learned from other health projects supported by the World Bank in fragile and conflict situations (FCS), as well as ongoing projects funded by the World Bank in Somalia. To strengthen government capacity to supervise and regulate health services, the project will support government procurement for the delivery of health services to NGOs, an approach that has been used successfully to expand access to health services. high quality health services in FCS and low-capacity contexts, particularly in Afghanistan and Cambodia.

Likewise, with the support of the GFF, the government is prioritizing the delivery of a high-impact package of interventions as part of its updated 2020 essential health services package (EPHS) and strives to align partner support to ensure consistent and equitable delivery of essential services across the county.

“Setting priorities based on what will be the most impactful investments and aligning partner support with a country-led process is essential to accelerate progress in women’s, children’s and adolescent health,” he said. said Bernard Olayo, head of the World Bank task force. “The support of the GFF has been instrumental in maximizing the impact towards a shared approach and building a health system that works for all.

With the support of the World Bank, Somalia is increasing its investments in human capital development for greater equity and economic growth, which will be essential for the country to maintain the path of growth and reforms.

* World Bank International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and loans at low-to-zero interest rates for projects and programs that stimulate economic growth, reduce poverty and improve the lives of the poor . IDA is one of the most important sources of assistance for the 76 poorest countries in the world, including 39 in Africa. Resources IDA bring positive change to the 1.6 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since 1960, IDA supported development work in 113 countries. Annual commitments have averaged around $ 21 billion over the past three years, of which around 61 percent has gone to Africa.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of the World Bank Group.

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