World Bank grants Afghanistan $20m for healthcare
by Richard Kilne
Banking Times (UK) / May 16, 2008
Yesterday the World Bank approved a US$20m grant to support the Afghan government’s efforts at healthcare provision.
The grant, which is made to the Health Sector Emergency Reconstruction and Development Project, will be aimed at improving infant mortality rates, child malnutrition and provide better access to healthcare services.
Emanuele Capobianco, a health specialist of the World Bank, has stated that the Afghan government has made substantial progress in improving healthcare provision through the country.
Capobianco went on to say that despite this improvement, the nation still ranked amongst the worst in the world and there was much more that needed to be done.
An evaluation by John Hopkins University concluded that healthcare from 2004 to 2007 improved by 32%, with threefold as many patients being treated as before.
The University has also calculated that the infant mortality rate (infant defined as being under 5) has decreased from 257 per 1,000 lives births to 191, meaning an additional 80,000 are alive due to the improvement.
One stark statistic that highlights Afghanistan’s situation is the average life expectancy which stands at just 43 years, mostly due to high mortality rates amongst the young.