The World Bank has announced the provision of over $4 billion for the purchase and deployment of COVID-19 vaccines for 51 developing countries, half of which are in Africa.
More than half of the financing comes from the International Development Association (IDA), the bank’s fund for the world’s poorest countries, and is on grant or highly concessional terms.
The bank said in a statement, yesterday, that the financing was part its commitment to help low- and middle-income countries acquire and distribute vaccines and strengthen their health systems.
It also reiterated its call to governments, pharmaceutical companies, and organizations involved in vaccine procurement and delivery to help increase transparency and build greater public information regarding vaccine contracts, options and agreements; vaccine financing and delivery agreements; and doses delivered and future delivery plans.
The bank asked those countries anticipating excess vaccine supplies in the coming months to release their surplus doses and options as soon as possible, in a transparent manner, to developing countries with adequate distribution plans in place.
According to the organization, “Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Bank Group has approved more than $150 billion to fight the health, economic, and social impacts of the pandemic.
“Since April 2020, the Bank has scaled up its financing by over 50 percent, helping more than 100 countries meet emergency health needs, strengthen pandemic preparedness, while also supporting countries as they protect the poor and jobs, and jump starting a climate-friendly recovery.”
“The World Bank is helping developing countries in every region of the world with vaccine purchase and rollout,” said Axel Van Trotsenburg, World Bank Managing Director of Operations, was quoted as saying.
He added, “Significant challenges still remain regarding vaccine deployment and hesitancy. We are taking action on all fronts to tackle these challenges, working in solidarity with international and regional partners to expedite doses to as many people as possible and to enhance disease surveillance, preparedness, and response.”
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