International development banks are rapidly responding to the global health crisis by increasing their COVID-19 related financing availability. On March 17, 2020, the World Bank and its International Finance Corporation (IFC) Board of Directors approved an increase in its fast-track financing package to $14 billion to assist companies and countries in their efforts to detect and respond to the COVID-19 outbreak. The package is meant to strengthen national systems for public health preparedness — including disease containment, diagnosis, and treatment.
On March 18, 2020, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) announced a $6.5 billion initial package to help its Developing Member Countries (DMCs) in their response to the pandemic and protect the most vulnerable.
On this World Health Day, learn more about how International Development Projects help countries to achieve universal health coverage and make quality and affordable health services accessible to everyone.
Cambodia | Securing Children's Future
Cambodia has made great strides in health care. Maternal and child mortality have been vastly reduced and more healthcare facilities are now available throughout the country.
The picture was very different 20 years ago when gaining access to affordable health services were huge obstacles for the poorest and most remote villages.
With support from the World Bank and the Health Equity Fund, people living in rural areas can now get the modern medicine they need without traveling far or trying to come up with money they don’t have.
Here we follow the story of Yav Neang, a mother from a remote Cambodian village, who needed help for her sick 8-month old baby. Through the Health Equity Fund, she and her baby are among the 3 million Cambodians who now have access to better and affordable health care, ensuring that they get quality care when they’re sick.
Rwanda | Using Drones to Deliver Blood and Save Lives
Launched in October 2016, the drone delivery project made Rwanda the first country in the world to use drone technology for the purpose of saving lives. The drone delivery project is a partnership between the Government of Rwanda and the California-based robotics company, Zipline Inc.
With the help of drones, it no longer takes hours for blood to get to remote clinics and hospitals. Life-saving blood transfusions can now be received by those in need in a matter of minutes.
Currently, the program is focused almost exclusively on blood deliveries. However, the project aims to expand its service to the deliveries of vaccines and essential medicines for the treatment of diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis.
Join World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim as he tests out a drone that delivers blood to 21 hospitals across rural Rwanda. Dr. Kim explains how this technology can save lives, and also create job opportunities.
Papua New Guinea | Expanding Access to Health Care
Despite a period of high economic growth in recent years, averaging 6% annually from 2006–2015, Papua New Guinea (PNG) failed to achieve its targets for the Millennium Development Goals on maternal and child health. Life expectancy in the country relative to income is low at 65 years and the estimated burden of disease is dominated by chronic diseases.
PNG’s poor health outcomes are the result of deteriorating healthcare services caused by volatile and unpredictable health financing, as well as weaknesses in government health systems and in health sector capacities.
The Health Services Sector Development Program, funded by the Asian Development Bank, works towards the implementation of an integrated public health model that links primary and secondary health facilities in rural areas to improve patient health outcomes. In addition, it aims to decentralize health service delivery by focusing on capacity building of staff at the sub-national level in public financial management and reporting.
The Health Services Sector Development Program works towards strengthening health service delivery by rehabilitating rural healthcare infrastructure, improving the availability of medical supplies, supporting new health partnerships, and promoting the use of technology to support digital information systems.
Sustainable Development Goals
UNDB is committed to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Decade of Action.
Goal 3: Good Health and Well Being at all ages is essential to sustainable development.
International development projects foster better health systems, improve sanitation and hygiene, and increase access to health coverage.
UNDB facilitates global health and well being by supporting and encouraging investment in countries’ efforts to achieve universal health coverage, and provide quality and affordable health services to everyone.