Addis Abeba The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors on Tuesday approved an envelope of 12 billion USD for developing countries to finance the purchase and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, tests, and treatments for their citizens.
According to a statement from the World Bank, the financing that aims to support vaccination of up to one billion people is part of an overall World Bank Group’s package of up to 160 billion USD through June 2021 to help developing countries fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
The developing countries will have different ways to acquire and deliver approved vaccines, it was indicated.
This support adds new financing to the World Bank’s COVID-19 emergency response programs that are already reaching 111 countries, the statement stated.
“This financing package helps signal to the research and pharmaceutical industry that citizens in developing countries also need access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines,” it said, adding that it “will also provide financing and technical support so that developing countries can prepare for deploying vaccines at scale, in coordination with international partners.”
In addition to purchasing COVID-19 vaccines, the World Bank Group financing will also support countries to access to COVID-19 tests and treatments, and expand immunization capacity to help health systems deploy the vaccines effectively.
According to the statement, the new financing builds on the broader World Bank health program, which focuses on strengthening the health systems and health service delivery.
In implementing the program, the World Bank will support multilateral efforts currently led by the World Health Organization and COVAX, a vaccine pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator.
“We are extending and expanding our fast-track approach to address the COVID emergency so that developing countries have fair and equal access to vaccines,” said World Bank Group President David Malpass.
Access to safe and effective vaccines and strengthened delivery systems is key to alter the course of the pandemic and help countries experiencing catastrophic economic and fiscal impacts move toward a resilient recovery, the president added.
Source: Ethiopia News agency