Since its establishment in June 2020, the HEPR Program has provided funding to fill critical COVID-19 response gaps and jump-start innovative gains in how countries prepare for the next health emergency—internally, and working across borders with regional neighbors.
HEPR Program grants are making a difference around the globe: from Latin America to the Middle East and Africa, to the Asia-Pacific region. It has provided critical, timely resources to countries and territories not eligible for other World Bank funding mechanisms, and supported health emergency preparedness and response in countries in particular need of support based on their baseline levels of related preparedness and response capacity.
The HEPR Program has also made the “missing middle” – the realm of cross-border health emergency preparedness and response through formal and informal country groupings – another priority area for support, recognizing cross-border coordination is essential in our evermore interconnected world and in the face of viruses in the face of which borders have little meaning. An integral part of the HEPR Program is the technical support that it provides and facilitates to assist World Bank task teams and countries (see map below).
- US$31.84 million to improve preparedness for future health emergencies in five low-income IDA-eligible countries (Lao PDR, Madagascar, Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Timor-Leste); one IBRD-eligible country (Eswatini) and to the East Central and Southern Africa Health Community to support the cross-border coordination of health emergency preparedness efforts in Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Zambia.
- Over US$65.18 million to support COVID-19 responses, particularly for vaccine planning and implementation in four low-income IDA-eligible countries (Cambodia, Lesotho, Sao Tome and Principe, Sierra Leone), in the West Bank & Gaza, and in two countries not eligible for IDA at the time of grant awarding (Sudan and Zimbabwe). The support also includes funding for refugees in Lebanon and Jordan to access COVID-19 services.
- World Bank-provided technical assistance in Eswatini enabling costing analytics to help target preparedness investments to maximize impact and plan simulation exercises; and surge analytics modelling in Madagascar that will help the country be more prepared for future emergencies.