$20m COVID-19 health emergency response project approved
ISLAMABAD: The Planning Commission has approved the $20 million COVID-19 health emergency response project being financed by the AFD (Agency Francaise de Development).
The meeting, chaired by Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Muhammad Jahanzeb Khan here, was informed by the Director General that the AFD funds would be utilized for an effective and efficient COVID-19 case management, upgradation of existing health facilities or setting up new facilities where needed, and strengthening capacity of the health workforce.
The DG Health said the funds would also be used for strengthening of the health management systems i.e. inventory control, disease surveillance, standard protocols, etc, as well as provision of equipment to meet the national requirements.
Member Social Sector Dr Shabnum Sarfraz told the meeting that with the approval of emergency response project, the total funds earmarked by the Planning Commission to the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination (MoNHSRC) since the start of the epidemic had now reached $613 million.
She said the government had made substantial funding available to fight the epidemic.
She stressed on the need for expediting the procurement of medical equipment and medicines to meet the needs of provinces and ensure that the budget was utilized in an effective and efficient manner.
Jahanzeb Khan said the project would complement and enhance the impact of ongoing government initiatives for the COVID-19 response and preparedness. He acknowledged the support extended by the Agency Francaise de Development (AFD) to the government, which was extremely valuable in mounting an effective response and recovery strategy against the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said the AFD and the Government of Pakistan had a longstanding partnership for the development of people. As the government employed all possible resources to mitigate the human and financial damage caused by the COVID-19, critical support from international partners such as AFD was appreciable, he added. - APP