The World Bank on Tuesday called for investment in health in Somalia to help spur economic growth.
In its sixth edition of the Somalia Economic Update, the World Bank said investing in health will set Somalia on a path to reaping substantial demographic dividends from improvements in life expectancy and reductions in fertility.
The lender said COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted that investing in Somalia’s health system is an urgent political and economic consideration that is foundational to reducing fragility and enhancing economic development.
During the launch of the Somalia Economic Update titled “Investing in Health to Anchor Growth,” Naoko Ohno, World Bank Task Team Leader, and co-author of the report said the bank’s investments in health focus on expanding the coverage of high-impact health services by financing the delivery of select, high-impact health and nutrition services in an equitable and sustainable manner.
Currently, the report reveals, there is limited investment in the health sector, with Somalia’s health spending at just 1.3 percent of total government spending, which is below the 15 percent Abuja Declaration target set by the African Union.
It says the World Bank-financed Damal Caafimaad Project, approved in June and projected to begin in 2022, will help the government quickly expand access to high-impact, essential health and nutrition services to address the leading causes of mortality in Somalia.
The World Bank said the project will also strengthen health systems and the institutional capacities of federal and state health ministries to coordinate and use health resources.
“These investments are planned to contribute to improved health outcomes and strengthen government systems,” the report says. Enditem