The World Bank has approved a $100 million loan to Turkey to support the actions it is taking to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.
"The project is part of the World Bank's $14 billion global Fast Track Facility announced on April 2," the bank said in a statement last Friday.
“The funding will strengthen Turkey’s capacity to avert the potentially high health and human cost of the COVID-19 pandemic by reinforcing mitigation and disease management,” said Auguste Tano Kouame, World Bank country director for Turkey. “With the actions supported by this project we hope to contribute to saving lives.”
The project, implemented by Turkey's Health Ministry, is meant to support government efforts to curb the virus' spread and strengthen the overall health system to detect and treat cases.
It aims to strengthen testing and surveillance systems and the procurement of frontline equipment to address urgent needs for medical equipment and supplies.
Turkey on Sunday saw the lowest number of new coronavirus cases in 20 days with 2,357, bringing the total number of registered cases in the country to 110,130, according to Health Ministry data.
The number of deaths stood at 99, marking the seventh consecutive decline in fatalities. The latest fatalities brought the total toll to 2,805.
So far, 29,140 people have recovered from the disease.
"Given the nature of the disease, the population at large will benefit from this project," said Ahmet Levent Yener, the project's task leader.
He added that some 20 million people are expected to benefit from the initiative, including people who contracted the virus, at-risk populations (particularly the elderly and people with chronic conditions), migrant families, medical and emergency personnel, medical and testing facilities, and public health agencies engaged in the response in Turkey.
The project will also aim to enhance public health awareness and behavioral change, which will expand community engagement and outreach activities to increase the commitment of the government, private sector and civil society, to build knowledge, confidence and trust.
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