The financing of the poorest countries is in the form of grants or on highly concessional terms.
WASHINGTON, April 20, 2021– The World Bank announced today that it has reached $ 2 billion in approved funding for the purchase and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines for 17 developing countries. This funding is part of the $ 12 billion over 24 months envelope for developing countries to acquire and deploy vaccines and strengthen their immunization systems. For poorer countries, funding is provided in the form of grants or on highly concessional terms. The Bank plans to support 50 countries with $ 4 billion in funding for COVID-19 vaccines by mid-year.
The $ 2 billion funding supports vaccination against COVID-19 in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cabo Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, Ecuador, El Salvador, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Gambia, Honduras, Lebanon, Mongolia, Nepal, Philippines, Rwanda, Tajikistan and Tunisia.
“Access to vaccines is essential to change the course of the pandemic and help countries move towards a resilient recovery”, World Bank Group President David Malpass said. “Our programs help developing countries respond to health emergencies and secure funding for vaccines. As the world strives for the largest immunization effort in history, we underscored the need for countries with surplus vaccine supplies to release them as soon as possible, and for financial commitments to COVAX to be met. “
The Bank’s vaccine financing program is designed to be flexible. It can be used by countries to procure doses through COVAX or other sources. It can also finance other key health system deployment and strengthening activities, such as medical supplies, personal protective equipment, vaccine cold chains, health worker training, data systems. and information and communication and awareness campaigns to key stakeholders that are essential to ensure immunization. acceptance. The Bank has aligned its COVID 19 vaccine eligibility criteria with the revised eligibility criteria of COVAX and other multilateral partners.
In addition, IFC, the private sector development arm of the Bank, has a $ 4 billion health platform to increase the supply and local production of personal protective equipment in developing countries and unlock medical supply bottlenecks in emerging markets, particularly in medical equipment and vaccines.
The Bank works with governments and partners (UNICEF, Global Fund, WHO and GAVI) to assess the readiness of more than 140 developing countries to deploy vaccines. Initial results show that while 85% of countries have developed national immunization plans, only 30% plan to train the necessary number of vaccinators and 27% have public engagement strategies in place to address reluctance to the vaccination.
“To get a vaccine into someone’s arm, there is a whole system of interrelated actions that have to work properly,” mentionned Axel van Trotsenburg, Managing Director of World Bank Operations. “We are working with the international community and partners to accelerate the deployment of COVID-19 vaccines. Vaccines are a key part of how we get back to school, work and grow. “
Since the onset of the crisis, the World Bank Group has approved $ 108.6 billion to help countries tackle the health, economic and social consequences of the pandemic. Bank assists over 100 countries with COVID-19 health emergency projects reaching 70% of the world’s population
World Bank Group Response to COVID-19
The World Bank, one of the largest sources of finance and knowledge for developing countries, is taking broad and swift action to help developing countries respond to the health, social and economic impacts of COVID-19. This includes US $ 12 billion to help low- and middle-income countries purchase and distribute COVID-19 vaccines, tests and treatment, and strengthen immunization systems. The funding builds on the World Bank Group’s broader response to COVID-19, which is helping more than 100 countries strengthen health systems, support the poorest households, and create enabling conditions to maintain livelihoods and jobs of the hardest hit.