Press Release

The GFF’s Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Global Financing Facility for Women, Children and Adolescents (GFF) is committed to doing its part to support the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Guided by its core mission to ensure sustainable health financing and improve reproductive, maternal, neonatal, child and adolescent health and nutrition outcomes, the GFF is currently supporting 36 countries scale up access to comprehensive community and primary health care services and strengthen their health financing systems, which are critical and closely aligned to countries’ needs for effective pandemic preparedness and response. 

The GFF team is mindful of the recent lessons from the 2014-16 Ebola epidemic in West Africa, which led to sharp increases in maternal mortality and child illnesses and breakdowns in basic lifesaving health care for women and children.

On March 4, the World Bank Group (WBG) announced that it was making immediately available up to US$12 billion in IDA, IBRD and IFC support to help countries finance their COVID-19 response needs at scale.  On March 17, this was followed by a US$2 billion increase for a total of a $14 billion of fast-track financing to assist countries and businesses in their efforts to prevent, detect and respond to the rapid spread of COVID-19.

Complementary to the WBG support, and consistent with its core mandate, the GFF team is working closely with country and global partners during the pandemic in various ways, including:

  • Ensuring women, children and adolescents in GFF-supported countries can continue to access quality ante-natal and post-natal care, safe childbirth, vaccinations and other basic lifesaving health and nutrition services, and help ensure that the pandemic does not derail national efforts to improve health outcomes in these areas;
  • Identifying how the GFF can help address specific, short-term financing gaps for frontline care to protect the most vulnerable populations in GFF-supported countries; and
  • Contributing strategic and technical support to WBG teams and partners on emergency supply chain issues, prioritization, health financing, data systems and other areas of GFF expertise.

For more information or questions related to the GFF’s work in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, please contact Carolyn Reynolds at creynolds@worldbank.org