MoFED, WB sign USD 120 million for health financing

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The Ethiopian government is set to enhance its progress towards meeting the 2015 Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target in the health sector via a USD 120 million financing agreement with the World Bank (WB) under its Program-for-Result (PforR) initiative. From this package, USD 100 million is interest-free credit, while the rest – USD 20 million – is a grant from the Health Results Innovation Trust Fund.
The country, in partnership with international organizations including the Department for International Development (DfID), the Netherland’s SIDA, the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), the Spanish Development Cooperation, WB and UN agencies, has already established a large national network consisting more than 35,000 trained health workers and expanded the network of health centers to rapidly scale up the government’s delivery of basic health services. It therefore has been able to register a remarkable achievement towards reducing child mortality with a decrease of 30 percent from 2005 to 2011. According to Guang Zhe Chen, Country Director for WB, Ethiopia is on track to meet some of its MDG goals in the health sector, including those for child survival, HIV/AIDs and malaria.
According to the country director, the fund from PforR will enable Ethiopia to further boost its efforts to expand these results by providing financial incentives to improve the reach of basic health services. 
WB will disburse the USD 100 million to Ethiopia over the next four years starting two weeks from the time the agreement was signed and upon the conclusion of specific health results are known, particularly those that improve women and children’s health. The USD 20 million from the Health Results Innovation Trust Fund, provided by the UK and Norway and managed by the bank, is to improve the coverage of essential maternal and child health services.
The country will obtain USD 10 million advance payment for the achievements that the country already has registered, according to Abduljelil Reshad, Director of Resource Mobilization and Partnership Coordination at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MoFED).
Sufian Ahmed, Minister of MoFED, is optimistic about the disbursement of funds in accordance to the results the country will achieve. “This would help us to track what’s happening in the sector that we do invest massively,” he said at the signing of the agreement, Friday afternoon.
Ethiopia is the fifth country, which uses the new PforR program worldwide, and is second only to Tanzania, in Africa. However, the country is a pioneer in utilizing the program for the health sector, worldwide.