Washington, October 14
The World Bank has approved USD 12 billion in financing to help developing countries buy and distribute Covid-19 vaccines, tests, and treatments, aiming to support the vaccination of up to 1 billion people.
The USD 12 billion “envelop” is part of a wider World Bank Group package of up to USD 160 billion to help developing countries fight the Covid -19 pandemic, the bank said in a statement late Tuesday.
The World Bank said its Covid emergency response programmes were already reaching 111 countries. Citizens in developing countries also need access to safe and effective Covid vaccines, it said.
“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 bank’s president David Malpass in the statement.
Fair, equal access to 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. —David Malpass, President, WB
“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,” he said.
The International Finance Corporation, the private sector lending arm of the World Bank is investing in vaccine manufacturers through a $4 billion Global Health Platform, the statement said.
Development and deployment of vaccines is crucial to helping stem outbreaks of the virus that has killed more than 1 million people and sickened more than 38 million, while devastating economies and leaving many millions jobless.
The World Bank said it would draw on expertise and experience from its involvement in many large-scale immunisation programmes and other public health efforts.
The funding was meant to help countries access tests and treatments and to support management of supply chains and other logistics for vaccinations in developing countries, the bank said. — AP