World Bank provides $100m for health services
KABUL (PAN): The World Bank on Thursday approved a id="mce_marker"00 million grant from the International Development Association (IDA) to help the Afghan government expand the scope, quality and coverage of basic health and essential hospital services.
The Afghanistan System Enhancement for Health Action in Transition (SEHAT) Program will cover rural and urban areas in 22 provinces, strengthen the health system and build the capacity of the Ministry of Public Health to effectively perform its stewardship functions.
A statement from the World Bank country office said this new financing drives up World Bank’s total health assistance to $335 million since 2003, including support from the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF). The funds will be supplemented by a proposed ARTF-funded grant of $270 million.
Robert Saum, World Bank country director, said: “Investing in human health is vital for the country’s wellbeing and ensuring a healthy and productive society. This new support comes in the midst of Afghanistan’s transition and aims to boost human capital in the country…”
Afghanistan’s infant and under-five mortality rates remain higher than the average for low-income countries, and child malnutrition rates are among the highest in the world. About 55 percent of children under-five suffer from chronic malnutrition.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.