World Bank offers Egypt $400M to fund new health insurance system

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Wed, 17 Jun 2020 - 02:25 GMT

File - World Bank

File - World Bank

CAIRO – 17 June 2020: Minister of International Cooperation, Rania al-Mashat, has announced the approval of the World Bank's Board of Executive Directors to provide Egypt with $400 million.

Mashat said in a statement issued on Wednesday that this is part of the emergency response project to address the coronavirus pandemic and support the Egyptian government’s efforts to implement the universal health insurance system, generalizing it in the governorates.

The minister added that the agreement reflects the Egyptian government's approach to provide health care services to all citizens, which is a national priority for the government, as the comprehensive health insurance project implemented in cooperation with the World Bank includes mandatory coverage for citizens.

She pointed out that this project is the first of its kind in which efforts are unified with the private sector to achieve the required health coverage and eliminate all disparities that currently exist in providing health services with the provision of high-quality health care to all citizens, including the first groups caring.

"The new project also contributes to strengthening Egyptian efforts to improve human capital, as Egypt is one of the first countries to implement the human capital project launched by the World Bank, by investing in the first years of a child's life, providing better health care, prenatal care, and programs geared to stimulate the growth of children,” Mashat added.

The World Bank agreed in May to provide $ 50 million to Egypt as part of the emergency response project to tackle the coronavirus.

For his part, Minister of Finance Mohamed Ma’it expressed keenness to join a partnership with the World Bank to support the comprehensive health insurance system in Egypt that will help Egyptians obtain health care services at an affordable cost without suffering due to financial burdens.

Ma'it explained that this would support the project of Egypt's quest to achieve long-term stability in relation to financing health care, while reducing dependence on the state's budget and reducing exposure to economic fluctuations.

"Our support for Egypt will help expand the coverage of the universal health insurance system in six governorates, and strengthen levels of governance and institutions related to this system,” Regional Director for Egypt, Yemen and Djibouti at the World Bank Marina Weiss said.

She added that this funding will also contribute to providing temporary financial protection for the most-favored population groups across the country from the high treatment costs they incur from their own money.

The comprehensive health insurance law in Egypt sets the rules for implementing the universal health insurance system, and seeks to accelerate the application of universal health coverage in a manner consistent with the health pillar contained in the "Sustainable Development Strategy - Egypt 2030".

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