The government of Denmark has boosted Kenya’s fight against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) with a Sh3.2 billion donation to the country’s emergency fund.
Danish Minister for Development Cooperation Rasmus Prehn said the 22 million Danish Kroner, to be channelled through the World Bank, will be used to boost Kenya’s emergency response to the global pandemic.
Prehn had made the pledges last week after speaking with Kenya’s National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yattani.
A dispatch from the Danish Embassy in Nairobi said the money will be used to cover the cost of medicine and equipment, “capacity building of health personnel, quarantine and treatment centres”.
“The spread of coronavirus seems inevitable,” Prehn said.
“If not handled resolutely, it will have fatal consequences for the most vulnerable populations, not least in densely populated areas and where the health system is challenged,” he added.
Denmark itself has reported 3,672 cases of the coronavirus. Of those, 139 have died.
But the Danish minister said his country is taking a ‘frontline’ approach to both local and international combat against the virus.
The announcement was made just a day after the World Bank Group Board of Directors approved $50 million in immediate funding to support Kenya’s response to the global Covid-19 pandemic under a new operation known as the Kenya Covid -19 Emergency Response Project.
The bank said this project will be providing emergency funding for medical diagnostic services, surveillance and response, training, isolation of suspected cases, medical waste disposal “and community engagement as well as for strengthening of the country’s capacity to provide safe blood services.”
“This new fast track facility will assist Kenya in its efforts to prevent, detect and respond to the threat posed by Covid-19 and strengthen national systems for public health preparedness,” said Carlos Felipe Jaramillo, World Bank Country Director for Kenya, in a statement on Thursday.
“Covid-19 threatens lives and livelihoods, and a rapid response is needed for food security, nutrition, and schooling,” he added.
All the 47 counties will benefit from the project targeting the sick, vulnerable groups, medical attendants as well as lab technicians.