The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has approved a $100 million credit from the International Development Association (IDA) to improve maternal, newborn and child health in Myanmar.
The Essential Health Services Access Project is expected to benefit about 4 million pregnant women and young children across all of Myanmar’s 330 townships, the Washington-based lender said.
The project aims to increase coverage of critical health services that provide quality care, with a focus on the health of mothers, infants and children.
“Providing quality health services to all people in Myanmar is one of our main priorities.
“I believe this project will help improve the quality of health services for mothers and their young children and ultimately, will help bring us closer to achieving the ambitious goal of universal health coverage,” said Dr Thein Thein Htay, deputy minister, Ministry of Health.
The project is designed to improve both the coverage and quality of maternal and child health services in Myanmar, the Bank said.
Under the project, communities will receive grants for health services at the local level and support for implementing inclusive planning, resource management and improved local oversight.
Specifically, project funds will help cover a wide range of expenses critical to the function of health facilities, such as medical supplies, facility maintenance and repairs, patient transfers, and community engagement.
“By investing in the health of mothers and children, the government is making a substantial investment in Myanmar’s future,” said Abdoulaye Seck, country manager of the World Bank in Myanmar.
The IDA credit in support of the health sector in Myanmar is part of the World Bank Group’s growing support program for the former pariah country.
The World Bank Group, in close coordination with development partners, is beginning work with Myanmar on a new Country Partnership Framework.
This Framework will scale up support for Myanmar – building on plans for a $2 billion multi-year development package announced by the Bank.
The framework will also include programs to help improve agriculture, water, access to energy and education, as well as public financial management, financial inclusion, private sector development, and other key development priorities.