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World Bank Approves $100 Million Additional Financing to Strengthen Nepal’s School and Health Sectors

WASHINGTON, July 8, 2021 – The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved two separate additional financing of $50 million each to support the implementation of the government’s flagship School Sector Development Program, and improve efficiency in the public resource management systems of Nepal’s health sector.

“Strengthening Nepal’s school sector and building resilient health systems are critical for human capital development, particularly for poor and vulnerable populations,” stated Faris Hadad-Zervos, World Bank Country Director for Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. “Through this support to the Government of Nepal, we aim to mitigate learning losses and ensure that children return to schools, and improve efficiency of spending and fiscal space for delivering quality and accountable healthcare services to contribute to Nepal’s COVID-19 recovery.”

The Additional Financing to the School Sector Development Program will help reduce dropouts and mitigate learning losses by supporting pro-poor targeted scholarships, pro-science scholarships, and catch-up programs. It will lay the foundation for the next school sector successor program in two areas – assessment and data systems, and help create the fiscal space to fill the gap in financing the government’s flagship program. It will also support the implementation of federalism in Nepal by aligning the program with the federal structure to improve efficiency and achievement of results.

“Learning losses and drop-outs are higher among children coming from poorer socio-economic backgrounds,” stated Karthika Radhakrishnan, World Bank’s Program Task Team Leader. “The additional financing will support catch-up programs to mitigate learning losses, and support children from poorer socio-economic backgrounds through pro-poor targeted scholarships.”   

The Additional Financing for Nepal Health Sector Management Reform Program for Results will support the implementation of Nepal’s Health Sector Strategy in the one-year extension phase and sustain the gains accrued thus far in public resource management reforms of the health sector. It will also provide critical financing in a resource-constrained COVID-19 environment to build resilient health systems, and prepare Nepal to implement its next health sector strategy.

“The additional financing will continue to provide incentives for addressing the bottlenecks to improving public resource management in the health sector, and promote transparency and accountability in the system by linking payments to results,” stated Sangeeta Carol Pinto, World Bank’s Program Task Team Leader.

The World Bank, one of the largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries, is taking broad, fast action to help developing countries respond to the health, social and economic impacts of COVID-19. This includes $12 billion to help low- and middle-income countries purchase and distribute COVID-19 vaccines, tests, and treatments, and strengthen vaccination systems. The financing builds on the broader World Bank Group COVID-19 response, which is helping more than 100 countries strengthen health systems, support the poorest households, and create supportive conditions to maintain livelihoods and jobs for those hit hardest.