The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors on Saturday night decided to provide Ukraine with a $300 million loan for the Second additional financing aimed at overcoming the consequences of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic for the project “Modernization of social support system for the population of Ukraine.”
“Social protection measures, for the implementation of which a new loan is provided, will help the government of Ukraine finance social assistance programs in order to save about one million Ukrainians from falling below the poverty line,” the bank’s release quoted the words of its regional director for Eastern Europe (Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine) Arup Banerji.
The World Bank’s support for Ukraine to protect low-income citizens who have been severely affected by the COVID-19 outbreak is a powerful anti-poverty response, he said.
The World Bank reminds that the decision on the first additional financing for the above project in the amount of $150 million was made on April 30 this year.
According to the bank’s forecasts, due to the consequences of the pandemic, the poverty level in Ukraine could grow by 4 percentage points, reaching about 23% by the end of 2020.
Its experts report that the crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic requires the introduction of prompt emergency response measures in the country and the provision of emergency cash assistance to citizens. It also highlighted the need to strengthen social protection infrastructure and develop systems capable of delivering payments to people in times of crisis.
“The allocated funds will help Ukraine finance urgent measures in the field of social protection to overcome the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, which provide for emergency cash payments to those citizens and households who have lost their jobs or sources of income as a result of the pandemic,” the message says.
The second additional funding will support the introduction of an online social assistance system and the expansion of social benefits and pensions through direct money transfers to bank accounts. Payments to families with low income will be carried out under the current program of state social assistance to low-income families, the World Bank said.
The World Bank estimates that 60% of Ukrainian citizens who are on the brink of poverty due to the economic consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak are not yet recipients of social assistance under one of the existing social protection programs.
Head of the parliamentary committee on the health of the nation, medical care and health insurance Mykhailo Radutsky has named those who will be the first to be vaccinated against coronavirus in Ukraine for free.
“The first wave is doctors, the military, police. Doctors are mandatory. First of all, these are medical workers, these are the military, this is the police, this is the National Guard and the elderly from the risk group,” Radutsky said on the air of the Right to Power (Pravo na Vladu) program on 1 + 1 TV channel.
According to him, 4 million Ukrainians can already be vaccinated for free on COVAX.
In turn, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs Anton Gerashchenko said that as many as 25,000 people fell ill with coronavirus among law enforcement officers, of whom 78 people died.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky said his retest for coronavirus (COVID-19) has so far been positive, and he continues to remain in self-isolation.
“My retest, unfortunately, is still positive, but I continue to work every day. This is my job. The only difference is that I work not on Bankova Street, but on Academician Zabolotny Street [where the Feofaniya clinical hospital is located],” he said in his blog on Wednesday.
Zelensky said he feels better. “The smells are back today. Strength is returning. The temperature is dropping. The desire to return to live work is rising,” he said.
Zelensky expressed the hope that the next video will be recorded from outside the hospital.
Ukraine has signed a two-year cooperation agreement with the World Health Organization (WHO) online, Minister of Health Maksym Stepanov has said.
“This agreement defines a clear ‘roadmap’ for our further joint work, in particular, regarding the solution of such challenges of our time as the still excessively high incidence of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and tuberculosis in Ukraine. After all, the fight against the pandemic does not stop our efforts to implement strategic and qualitative changes in the health care system,” the minister wrote on his Facebook page.
Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the agreement was signed online simultaneously in Kyiv and Copenhagen.
Pharmacies receive UAH 226 mln from National Health Service under reimbursement program for July-September.
Kyiv needs about UAH 245 million to deploy temporary hospitals at the Sports Palace and exhibition centers, said Health Minister Maksym Stepanov.
“We received information from Kyiv authorities on where they are going to place temporary mobile hospitals, if necessary – it can be either an exhibition center or a Sports Palace. They calculated that they need UAH 245 million,” he said at a briefing on Friday.
Stepanov said that temporary mobile hospitals will create 500 additional beds. To ensure the treatment process in such hospitals, according to calculations, 1,200 medical personnel will be needed.
“We are organizing information now,” he said.
The pharmaceutical company JSC Farmak (Kyiv) has received a request from the Ministry of Health and scientists regarding the possibility of its involvement in clinical trials of a Ukrainian vaccine against COVID-19, the company has told Interfax-Ukraine.
“Farmak has recently received a request from the Ministry of Health and scientists about the possibility of involving the company in clinical trials of the Ukrainian vaccine against COVID-19. Also, the state received a request for the possibility of industrial production of the vaccine (if its safety and effectiveness are proved),” the company said.
Currently, Farmak is studying the request: the company’s experts are analyzing the available materials related to the development and are consulting with scientists and representatives of the Ministry of Health.
As reported, the state intends to fund clinical trials of the vaccine.
Farmak manufactures medicines in all fourteen therapeutic groups. Among the main directions are anti-cold, endocrinological, gastroenterological, cardiological, neurological portfolios. The company annually introduces to the market about 20 new complex-component modern drugs, and about 100 drugs are currently in development.
Over the past five years, Farmak’s investments in the scientific and technical complex, production equipment, and research activities amounted to UAH 3.4 billion.
In 2019, Farmak received a net profit of UAH 1.056 billion, which is almost the same as in 2018 at UAH 1.05 billion, while in 2018 Farmak increased its net profit by 25.16%.
JSC Farmak is a member of the Manufacturers of Medications of Ukraine Association.
According to the unified state register of legal entities and individual entrepreneurs, the ultimate beneficial owner of Farmak is the head of the supervisory board, Filya Zhebrovska, who owns 80% of the company’s shares.