The World Bank (WB) plans to allocate $95 million to implement a project for an emergency response to COVID-19 in Azerbaijan, Report informs, citing Sarah Michael, the World Bank (WB) Country Manager for Azerbaijan.

Several countries applied for funding last year following the announcement of the fast track loan facility to support countries in the fight against coronavirus infection. These countries were allocated funds and were able to cover their additional costs arising due to COVID-19.

The Azerbaijani government, in turn, applied recently, and accordingly, will be able to compensate for the funds already spent. New costs may include additional copayments for healthcare providers providing exceptional services for COVID-19 patients, equipment purchases, and contingencies. Sarah Michael said.

At present, she said, negotiations with the Azerbaijani government are at the stage of agreeing on the loan terms. The loan will be allocated on the terms of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

The approval of the loan by the WB Board of Directors is scheduled for September 6.

However, the head of the WB Azerbaijan office is confident that it will be possible to approve the loan before September, taking into account the special procedures of this loan mechanism. For consideration at the WB Board of Directors, this project does not require setting a particular date. As soon as it is ready, it will be submitted for approval, she added.

Under the terms of the project, it will support the Azerbaijani government in containing the spread of COVID-19, strengthening the health system to detect and treat cases, and mitigating some of the social impacts of the pandemic.