Islamic Development Bank extends $50m financing for Benin health project

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Dubai

The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and the Government of Benin have signed a $50 million financing agreement for “Closing Gaps: Community Health, Hu-man Resources, and Nutrition” project, a new development pro-ject in Benin.

The project was signed at a high-level signing ceremony by Romuald Wadagni, Minister of Economy and Finance, Benin, and Dr Muhammad Al Jasser, President of the Islamic Devel-opment Bank and Chairman of IsDB Group, in conjunction with the 2021 IsDB Group Annual Meetings taking place in Tash-kent, Uzbekistan from September 1 to 4.

The project which is funded with concessional financing from IsDB’s Lives and Livelihoods Fund (LLF) with the support of the Bank’s donor partners, aims to address the critical and urgent gaps in primary healthcare and nutrition services in Benin, par-ticularly with regard to maternal and child healthcare.

It is a large-scale project repre-senting $50 million in funding extended to the Government of Benin and includes a $17.5 mil-lion (35%) grant by the LLF – a collaborative initiative of IsDB with the Abu Dhabi Fund for De-velopment, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development (ISFD), King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre, and Qatar Fund for Development.

Also, the project was designed in coordination with the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.

On the occasion Al Jasser, said: “This is an important project for the long-term, sustainable socio-economic prosperity of Benin.

Through this Lives and Liveli-hoods Fund investment, we are helping to create lasting positive change in the country’s health sector to help people live longer and happier lives and set the foundation for the next generation to thrive and reach their full potentials.

We are pleased to join hands with the Government of Benin, and delighted to be mov-ing forward on our commitment to support and empower the most disadvantaged communities across the Muslim world.

“Together with our donors and partners, the IsDB is looking forward to delivering on the pro-ject milestones, and contributing, step by step, towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.”

The objectives of the project are to improve access to primary healthcare and nutrition services and to strengthen the surveillance and prevention of epidemics and infectious diseases in communi-ties.

The project, which will be im-plemented through the National Agency for the Control of AIDS, includes recruitment and de-ployment of community health-care workers and qualified healthcare personnel; develop-ment and dissemination of a na-tional nutrition strategy with a focus on urban vulnerable popu-lation; and strengthening Moni-toring, Evaluation and Data Management, among other com-ponents.

The current timeline for comple-tion is five years. By the end of the project, 400 medical doctors, 400 nurses and midwives, and 600 health assistants are expected to be recruited, trained and de-ployed in rural areas to provide health and nutrition services to communities; and over 4,000 community health workers are expected to be recruited and de-ployed to provide home-based health and nutrition services.

In addition, the project will sup-port the development and imple-mentation of the National Nutri-tion Strategy and contribute to-wards strengthening the district health information system for the benefit of the people of Benin.

The LLF uses an innovative fi-nancing model that combines grants from regional and interna-tional donor partners with the lending capital of IsDB to offer concessional loans to address critical drivers of poverty. .—Trade Arabia News Service

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