The World Bank would commit an additional $15 billion by June 2021 for health and economic recovery, as part of its COVID-19 intervention programmes.
This disclosure was made by the World Bank Group President, David Malpass at the Virtual Meeting on the Africa COVID-19 Vaccine Financing and Deployment Strategy held recently.
According to Malpass,
- “Since the outbreak of COVID-19 last March, the Bank has committed $25 billion to African countries to support their health and economic recovery, and we expect to commit an additional $15 billion by June.
- “COVID-19 has had a heavy toll on the people of Africa in terms of lives lost and the severe economic impact that is hitting the most vulnerable the hardest. Tens of millions of people are falling into extreme poverty.
- “The ongoing loss of human capital will have crippling long-term consequences — through lost jobs and job training opportunities, school closures, missed vaccinations, the regression in health and nutrition, and elsewhere.
- “It’s vital to prioritize the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines. We estimate that every month of delay costs the African continent $13.8 billion in lost GDP. That’s in addition to the loss of lives and human capital.”
Why this matters
Vaccinations are quite huge an undertaking for any country and thus the World Bank has indicated its preparedness in assisting with many aspects including facilitating the procurement of vaccines.
Thus the Board of the World Bank has exceptionally authorized up to $12 billion to support countries in their vaccination efforts.
World Bank is currently preparing emergency vaccine financing projects in 21 countries in Africa, including DRC, Ethiopia, Niger, Mozambique, Tunisia, Eswatini and Cabo Verde, etc.
It is pertinent to note that the funds are already available and for most African countries, the financing would be on grant or highly concessional terms and conditions.
What you should know
- Since the outbreak of COVID-19 last March, the World Bank has committed $25 billion to African countries to support their health and economic recovery
- The World Bank is available to work with the leaders of African countries to move quickly to secure vaccinations for their populations and to avail themselves of the financing available.
- In implementing their vaccine programs, World Bank is assiduously working directly with governments, including financing their purchases from vaccine manufacturers and via COVAX as well as for deployments through WHO and UNICEF.
- Cold chain equipment, energy infrastructure, logistic, transport, community engagement and trained human resources are all key areas needed for the effective deployment of vaccines.
- The World Bank’s financing is available and as well the vaccine manufacturers are eager to work with countries on delivery dates and direct contracts.
- Countries that have not yet requested World Bank support are requested to send their letter to their respective World Bank Country Director asking for support for vaccine procurement and deployment from the $12 billion facility.
- International Finance Corporation (IFC) is working to mobilize financing for vaccine production and therapeutics focused on developing countries.