ADDIS ABABA, June 7 (Xinhua) -- The World Bank (WB) has provided 195 million U.S. dollars in financial grant to support Ethiopia's healthcare sector, with particular emphasis given to intensifying the country's COVID-19 vaccination efforts, the Ethiopian Ministry of Finance announced Tuesday.
The funding will support Ethiopia's efforts to make COVID-19 vaccines available nationwide and rehabilitate conflict-affected public health facilities, the ministry disclosed.
The ministry said the financing will bring sustainable support to Ethiopia's overburdened health system and will help reduce the spread and impact of COVID-19 by scaling up the country's vaccination rate, which currently remains below 30 percent.
The project will give a vital boost to Ethiopia's health system in order to ensure the delivery of essential maternal and child healthcare, nutrition, and other key services, the ministry said.
The World Bank last week stressed that health service delivery in Ethiopia had been disrupted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, damages to public health infrastructure, and a lack of capacity due to conflict in different parts of the country.
The World Bank said its financial support to Ethiopia is aimed at addressing some of these challenges and is in line with the World Bank Group's Strategy for Fragility, Conflict and Violence, which emphasizes sustained engagement in volatile environments and building effective institutions.
According to the Ethiopian Ministry of Finance, the latest support, which will increase the World Bank's overall anti-COVID-19 financial support for Ethiopia to 495 million U.S. dollars, will help realize Ethiopia's aspirations to administer COVID-19 vaccines to 60 percent of its population by 2023.
Ethiopia reported 309 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours, taking the national count to 475,321 as of Tuesday as the death toll stood at 7,515, according to the latest figures from the Ethiopian Ministry of Health.
And 456,332 people have recovered from the virus so far nationwide.
The East African country has so far administered 29,449,341 COVID-19 vaccine doses, vaccinating about 24,534,697 people, according to the latest figures from the Ethiopian Ministry of Health.