QC, WB’s IFC partner to enhance pandemic response
MANILA, Philippines—The local government of Quezon City has partnered with the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corp. (IFC) to ramp up response against the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic.
IFC said in a statement on Wednesday (March 23) that it will “provide Quezon City with advisory services to improve and help ‘future-proof’ the city’s vaccination strategy and testing facilities.”
“Following an assessment of its existing COVID-19 response efforts, the IFC will work with Quezon City to enhance the efficiency of the existing program and increase vaccination rates by improving and expanding vaccination centers, bolstering testing facilities, and strengthening vaccine logistics, among other focus areas for improvement,” it added.
Besides the IFC’s support for pandemic response, the World Bank itself as well as global health and risk-management organization International SOS will also back up Quezon City’s plan to assess carbon mitigation-related investment opportunities.
IFC said the Quezon City government was setting its sights on focusing on “sustainable, safe, low-carbon, and resilient transport mobility and green corridors.”
“We are delighted to partner with Quezon City as it seeks to improve its pandemic response efforts. Supporting subnational governments and cities, which are often at the forefront of climate change and pandemic response efforts, is crucial. We look forward to a long term and fruitful partnership with Quezon City and to supporting more cities in the Philippines,” IFC Philippines country manager Jean-Marc Arbogast said.
“We expect that this partnership with the IFC will help cover all bases and further solidify our programs and projects to combat COVID-19, especially our vaccination and testing initiatives,” IFC quoted Mayor Joy Belmonte as saying.
“While Quezon City is already considered as ‘very low risk’ for COVID-19, we should not rest on our laurels and there must be no room for complacency. We must not let our guard down until we achieve total victory over this virus,” Belmonte said, according to IFC.
IFC said local governments worldwide contribute over four-fifths of global gross domestic product (GDP). To date, the IFC invested a total of $5.5 billion across 160 Philippine projects since 1962.
“Strategic priorities in the country include reducing the impacts of climate change, deepening financial inclusion, promoting sustainable infrastructure, and strengthening the capacity of the private sector. This will better support the Philippines throughout the pandemic and help drive inclusive growth during the eventual recovery,” IFC said.