YEREVAN (RFE/RL) — The World Bank has approved $7.4 million in fresh loans designed to help the Armenian government build and equip two new provincial hospitals.
In a statement issued on February 4, the bank said they will serve as “additional financing” for a healthcare project launched in Armenia in 2013. It had lent the country’s former government $35 million at the time.
The statement said the expanded project will close “financial gaps” for the construction of the hospitals that will be located in Gegharkunik and Vayots Dzor provinces.
It quoted the head of the World Bank office in Yerevan, Sylvie Bossoutrot, as saying that more than 137,000 local residents will gain access to “quality medical care” as a result of the project. The bank has already financed the construction of 18 regional medical centers in Armenia, said Bossoutrot.
The statement added that the extra funding will also increase the country’s capacity to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.
“Due to limitations in hospital capacity during the pandemic for clinical management of COVID-19 cases in Vayots Dzor region, cases requiring intensive care were transferred to hospitals in surrounding regions, introducing delays in accessing services and increasing the risk of mortality,” it said.