This blog is part of the 'Act Now Pakistan' series focusing on ideas, policies and actions for Pakistan to recover stronger and better as the COVID-19 crisis subsides.
As COVID-19 takes its human and economic toll around the world, the World Bank is supporting Pakistan’s frontline health care staff and those whose lives have been affected by the pandemic.
They say every crisis is an opportunity, and the COVID-19 pandemic is no exception.
Just as the World Bank’s conversations with the government began, it became clear that the pandemic was having a nationwide impact. We shifted gears to respond swiftly to the emergency.
PREP is a uniquely nimble project that progressed from inception to implementation in just 10 days.This was possible because of the close working relationship between the Bank and the government, and an exemplary collaboration across a team spanning multiple sectors and time zones.
Processes that usually take 10 months or more were accelerated and completed in just 10 days for PREP.
– such as masks, gloves, protective suits, gowns, coveralls, shoe covers, goggles and face shields – to doctors and paramedics. The first consignment of PPE has already been delivered. The project will also help establish quarantine facilities in collaboration with public and private hospitals, and will supply diagnostic test kits, ventilators, and other essential equipment. It will strengthen laboratory capacity and train staff to enhance the country’s detection capacity.
As of April 23, PREP has disbursed $69.8 million, to enable an early response to the emergency.
This platform is a dedicated TV channel operating between 8 am and 6 pm, with educational content for students (grade 1 to 12), to compensate for school closures due to the lockdown.
PREP is therefore supporting emergency cash transfers to help the poor and vulnerable cope with the immediate impact of the pandemic. Additionally, food rations will be distributed in highly disrupted areas, where severe mobility restrictions limit people’s ability to meet basic needs.
The Teleschool initiative aims to turn this crisis into an opportunity for revolutionizing education through technology.
While our immediate response is aimed at fighting the health emergency, we recognize the long road ahead: after the pandemic subsides, its impacts on people, health care systems, and the economy will linger.
The Bank designed its support on the '4R' principle: response, relief, recovery and resilience.
It will help ensure access to food and basic health and education services, create temporary jobs, support small and medium businesses, and speed up the revival of the economy. We’ll continue working closely with the federal and provincial governments to identify opportunities for responding to COVID-19’s long-term effects.
So this crisis is indeed also an opportunity. An opportunity for us all to join hands to identify gaps, improve the response, and become better prepared for the future.We hope that this emergency will also build resilience for future pandemic response.