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World Bank approves $258 mln for Pakistan’s healthcare sector

The World Bank said that the program is a part of the agency's ongoing investments in human capital and builds on health reforms
Updated 08 Jun, 2022 07:18pm
<p>File photo.</p>

File photo.

The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved $258 million for the National Health Support Program (NHSP). The funds will be utilized to strengthen primary health care systems and accelerate national efforts towards universal health coverage in Pakistan.

In a statement, the World Bank said that the programme is part of the agency’s ongoing investments in human capital and builds on health reforms.

“Pakistan continues to make strides in health reforms toward ensuring access to primary healthcare services, especially for children and women during pregnancy and childbirth,” said Najy Benhassine, World Bank Country Director for Pakistan.

“By strengthening provincial health systems, this program is foundational to building the country’s human capital and improving health and nutrition outcomes for its citizens.”

The World Bank shared that the said program will focus on healthcare reforms across three main areas:

i) Healthcare coverage and quality of essential services, ii) Governance and accountability to strengthen oversight and management of primary healthcare services, and iii) Healthcare financing to improve the financial management of primary healthcare centres.

“NHSP creates a national forum for the federal and provincial governments to exchange lessons and collaborate on achieving sustainable health financing and high quality and coverage of essential services,” said Hnin Hnin Pyne, Task Team Leader for the Program. “It also helps strengthen engagement between public and private facilities and better coordination among development partners on future investments in health.”

The NHSP is co-financed by the International Development Association ($258 million) and two grants ($82 million) from the Global Financing Facility for Women, Children and Adolescents (GFF), including a $40 million grant for protecting essential health services amid multiple global crises.

“By investing in primary health care, strengthening the health workforce and equipping community health centers to both to respond to emergencies and deliver quality services, Pakistan can drive a more equitable and resilient recovery,” said Monique Vledder, Head of Secretariat, GFF.

This story was originally published in Business Recorder on June 8, 2022,

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