World Bank approves $12 bln for covid-19 vaccines, treatments in developing countries
London, Oct. 14, 2020 (AltAfrica)-The World Bank Group on Tuesday approved $12 billion in new funding for developing countries to finance the purchase and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, tests and treatments for their citizens.
The financing plan, part of $160 billion in total resources the multilateral development lender has pledged to provide to developing countries through June 2021 to help them fight the coronavirus pandemic, was first reported by Reuters in late September.
The World Bank said the financing programme will include technical support to recipient countries so they can prepare for deploying vaccines at scale, and will signal to drug companies that there will be strong demand and ample financing for COVID-19 vaccines in developing countries.
“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.”
In addition to purchasing COVID-19 vaccines, the WBG 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.
This includes supply chain and logistics management for vaccine storage handling, trained vaccinators, and large-scale communication and outreach campaigns to reach communities and households.
The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the WBG’s private sector arm, is also investing in vaccine manufacturers through its $4 billion Global Health Platform. The aim is to encourage ramped-up production of COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics in advanced and developing economies alike—and to ensure that emerging markets gain access to available doses.
The World Bank Group, one of the largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries will be deploying up to $160 billion in financial support over 15 months to help more than 100 countries protect the poor and vulnerable, support businesses, and bolster economic recovery. This includes $50 billion of new IDA resources through grants and highly concessional loans