Covid-19: World Bank readies emergency vaccine fund for 30 African countries
London, March 3, 2021 (AltAfrica)-An emergency covid vaccine fund to help about 30 African countries access COVID-19 vaccines is underway from the World Bank as the continent scrambles to secure doses and start immunising vulnerable groups.
African countries expected to benefit from the emergency vaccine fund include the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Niger, Mozambique, Tunisia, eSwatini, Rwanda and Senegal, without disclosing the amount of support under discussion.
“The funds are available now, and for most African countries, the financing would be on grant or highly concessional terms,” a bank spokesperson said in response to questions.
Over 3.9 million confirmed #COVID19 cases on the African continent – with more than 3.4 million recoveries & 104,000 deaths cumulatively.
Over 3.9 million confirmed #COVID19 cases on the African continent – with more than 3.4 million recoveries & 104,000 deaths cumulatively.— WHO African Region (@WHOAFRO) March 2, 2021
View country figures & more with the WHO African Region COVID-19 Dashboard: https://t.co/FKav40Cbdd pic.twitter.com/bZEgTQtJWj
Only a handful of African governments have launched mass vaccination campaigns, whereas some countries in wealthier parts of the world have already administered millions of doses.
Many African countries rely on the World Health Organization’s vaccine-sharing scheme COVAX.
The World Bank emergency funding is different from earlier promise by the Group of Twenty (G20) to support African countries in overcoming the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic
South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa had in January implored the group to consider offering support to African countries and other developing nations that had been hit hard by the pandemic.
Then, the G20 said the support to be offered would include exploring more sustainable financing options.
Africa reported coronavirus death toll recently surpassed 100,000, a fraction of the fatalities reported on other continents, but is rising fast as a second wave overwhelms hospitals.