WASHINGTON – The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) on Wednesday approved a reassignment of US$27 million from the non-disbursed balance of Haiti’s current investment portfolio, from the IDB Special Donation Fund, in an effort to help the government fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The goal of the programme for an immediate public health response to contain and control the coronavirus and mitigate its impact on the provision of services in Haiti is to help reduce COVID-19 mortality and morbidity rates and ease the indirect impact of the pandemic on health care in the country,” said the Washington-based financial institution in a statement.
“To that end, it will concentrate on strengthening coordination at the national level; improving detection and monitoring of cases; supporting efforts to break the chain of transmission of the virus; and boosting Haiti’s capacity for providing health care,” the IDB added.
It said that besides all this action aimed directly at containing and controlling the pandemic, the plan will emphasize maternal and child health care, including vaccination, and the fight against contagious diseases.
“This will allow for mitigating the strong negative impact of the pandemic on these services over the short and medium term, especially among the most vulnerable people in Haiti,” the IDB said.
In order to ensure that the program does not clash with measures that are already in place, it said the plan will become part of the national plan developed by the Health and Population Ministry and the Cross-Sector Pandemic Management Commission, which was created by the Haitian presidency.
“In this way, the intervention strategies in the IDB initiative are adapted to the Haitian context, because they were proposed by the commission, which features broad representation from civil society in Haiti,” the statement said.
The IDB said this operation is in addition to a US$60 million grant approved in July to help the poorest people in Haiti, as the country battles the coronavirus pandemic.