WASHINGTON, December 22, 2009 - The World Bank's Board of Executive Directors today approved an additional International Development Association (IDA) credit of US$40 million for the second phase of Tanzania's Health Sector Development Project (HSDP II).
HSDP II, which has been operational for five years, received additional financing of US$60 million in 2007. This additional financing will be used to provide an extra contribution to the Health Basket Fund of US$15 million per year for each of the 2009/10 and 2010/11 Government of Tanzania fiscal years.
The new resources will also fund selected high-priority investments, including essential medical equipment for emergency obstetric care, health human resources development, and the introduction of a comprehensive food fortification program to reduce the high prevalence of micro-nutrient deficiencies in the population.
Nutrition is of particular concern to both the government and the Bank, and recent surveys suggests that significant economic and human benefits could be achieved quickly through a relatively modest investment in this area. It has been estimated that each US$1 invested in food fortification would return US$8.22 in benefits due to higher productivity and lower mortality.
The development objective of the additional financing is the same as the original: "to achieve improvements in the provision of quality health services through continuing to support reforms, capacity development and improved management of resources, while focusing on quality."
"The World Bank Group is proud to be part of the harmonized support to Tanzania's efforts aimed at improving its health sector," said John Murray McIntire, World Bank Country Director for Tanzania, Uganda, and Burundi. "It is our hope that the additional financing will be used to achieve sustainable improvements in the health status of the people of Tanzania."
HSDP II has contributed to the Government of Tanzania's long term health sector program (the second and third Health Sector Strategic Plans). It has included efforts to increase financing for district-level essential health services; scaling up the integrated management of childhood illnesses; and increased vitamin A distribution.
It also contributed to improved malaria treatment and HIV/AIDS testing, counseling and treatment; strategies for reducing maternal mortality; expanded public-private partnerships for access to medicines; distribution of bed nets; expanded insurance coverage and rehabilitation of primary health facilities.
"The main objective of the additional financing is to assist the Government of Tanzania in continuing to improve the quality of health services," said Dominic S. Haazen, the World Bank Task Team Leader for HSDP II. "The additional financing would be used both to address an ongoing funding gap, and finance additional interventions which would enhance the project's development impact and effectiveness."
This intervention will benefit all Tanzanians, since the Health Basket Fund allocation is distributed to all districts on a per capita basis. In addition, the emergency obstetrical equipment would be of particular benefit to pregnant women, by providing higher quality and safer deliveries. The available funding in this area would cover approximately 23 percent of the districts and 19 percent of the health centers, making improved maternity services available for up to 20 percent of the population. Finally, the food fortification initiative would cover up to 23 million people once it is up and running.
A detailed description of the credit is contained in the Supplemental Financing Document, which is publicly available at the web link below, or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by requesting a hard copy at the World Bank office in Dar es Salaam.
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