As part of efforts to improve primary healthcare services across Nigeria, the Global Financing Facility of the World Bank Group has announced an investment of $20 million to support the recently approved Basic Healthcare Provisions Fund (BHCPF) by the federal government.
The investment, according to the development partner, will compliment Nigeria’s one percent consolidated revenue fund of N55.1 billion earmarked in the 2018 national budget to carter for the basic health of the citizens, especially in poor and most undeserving places in the country.
Announcing the grant in Washington DC, United States, wednesday, the Director, Global Financing Facility, Mariam Claeson, said the government of Nigeria would make an enormous difference in the lives of millions of Nigerians by making a lasting investment in the health and nutrition of women, children and adolescents, which is the foundation of society and the economy.
“Nigeria’s commitment to sustainably financing health and nutrition is a beacon for other countries, as they work closely with the Global Financing Facility to make sure that the investments they make today last for years to come,” she said.
The World Bank Group said the grant would co-finance early implementation of the BHCPF with funds mobilised from the government and other contributors, starting in three states of Abia, Niger and Osun.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will also compliment the Nigerian Government’s funding of the BHCPF with US$2 million.
Responding, the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, said the Nigerian Government is committed to ensuring that all Nigerians, particularly the women, children and adolescents facing some of the most challenging circumstances, in the most challenging places, have access to the basic health and nutrition services that they need, without becoming poorer by paying for them.
“The Global Financing Facility has created a new sense of awareness that we must put our money on the table for these essential investments in our people, and use them in even smarter ways, and that is something that hasn’t been done before,” he said.
Following this start-up phase, the federal government said it would provide most of the financing for the scale-up to the remaining 33 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).