WHO pledges £2.67m for Pakistan to battle Covid-19

Funding package will be used in 27 districts across all provinces in the country


​ Our Correspondent April 21, 2020
Funding package will be used in 27 districts across all provinces in the country. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

ISLAMABAD: The World Health Organisation (WHO) will provide £2.67 million (approximately $3.29 million) fund to Pakistan to scale up the country’s efforts in its fight against the deadly coronavirus pandemic.

"This funding package will be used in 27 districts across all provinces in the country. The WHO has been working closely with the government of Pakistan to prepare and respond to the growing threat of Covid-19," WHO Representative in Pakistan Dr Palitha Mahipala said on Tuesday.

He thanked United Kingdom's Department for International Development (DFID) for the generous support saying it would go a long way to strengthen the current response and save lives.

He added that it would also assist WHO in providing technical, operational and logistical support to Pakistan through existing response coordination mechanisms at federal and provincial levels.

The fund will also help strengthen the country's capacity to identify and diagnose cases of Covid-19, manage them through effective prevention and control measures, increase community participation in curbing the spread of the disease and enhance people’s access to reliable information so that they could learn how to protect themselves and others.

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Gaps in healthcare facilities and provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) for healthcare workers will also be covered through this funding.

"These are extraordinary times. Across the world, millions of people are being affected by the coronavirus,” British High Commissioner to Pakistan Dr Christian Turner said.

He announced UK health support of £2.67 million to help the government detect the cases of Covid-19, protect communities and assist the affected.

"We are also looking to repurpose other UK aid work of up to £100 million to help protect the most vulnerable people in Pakistan by providing economic relief and social security packages," he said.

"We count on our friends in difficult times. United Kingdom and Pakistan enjoy the very best of international friendship. We will beat this [pandemic] together," he added.

The WHO has been supporting Pakistan by strengthening Covid-19 response initiatives in collaboration with healthcare providers across the country.

This includes training of healthcare professionals, case management and virus prevention and control measures.

The world health body has also assisted the country in the distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE) kits to health facilities and helped in the dissemination of information, Education and Communications (IEC) material to raise public awareness on Covid-19 and dispel any rumours and misinformation.

With input from APP

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