The Government of Canada has given $9.9 million to the World Health Organization office in Ethiopia. The money will be used to ensure that usable health facilities are available in Ethiopia during COVID-19.
Under the terms of the agreement, Canada will provide WHO with a grant of 9.9 million Canadian dollars to improve primary healthcare ability to deliver critical health services, especially to women, children, and disadvantaged communities, while ensuring an appropriate response to COVID-19 to avoid more preventable illness and death among Ethiopians.
Dr. Boureima Hama Sambo, WHO Representative in Ethiopia, thanked Canada for the available support to ensure the quality of critical health services. He said, “The grant will not only increase the delivery of high-quality, gender-responsive basic health services at the primary care level, but it will also enhance the health system’s stability by improving state and city health authorities’ ability to cope with existing and future emergencies.”
Approximately 6.5 million Ethiopians in need will benefit from this grant, with women accounting for half of the beneficiaries. The remainder of Ethiopia’s population is an indirect beneficiary of efforts to develop both the federal and regional health systems, with an emphasis on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) programs.
“Canada’s funding will include training, medication and supplies to frontline health personnel, including personal protective equipment, to deter, identify and respond to COVID-19,” said Mr. Stephen Weaver, acting Minister-Counsellor and Senior Director (Development) in the Embassy of Canada to Ethiopia.
“This investment further guarantees the continuity of vital health care for vulnerable communities across Ethiopia, including sexual and reproductive health and rights services, in the wake of this pandemic. These programs, in accordance with the Ethiopian plan and Canada’s Feminist Foreign Assistance Program, will serve the various interests of women and men,” he added.
The goals of the support are in accordance with the expectations of the Government of Ethiopia and the immediate results of the support will include strengthened competencies of health and care staff in the prevention and management of diseases and priority essential packages of health services. The initiative also aims to improve access to essential health services, including SRHR; increase awareness of SRHR services for women and girls among communities and local authorities; increase awareness and capability among decision-makers on gender equity issues in relation to the delivery of essential health services; and strengthen the opportunity to build federal health policies and plans.
WHO Ethiopia will continue to work closely with the Federal Ministry of Health and the Regional Health Offices to effectively execute the activities planned under the grant support and to reduce the burden of preventable disease and death in the light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, especially among women and girls in Ethiopia.