The World Bank announced Tuesday that it had approved $ 12 billion in developing countries to fund the purchase and distribution of Covid-19 vaccines, tests and treatments.
The funding “aims to help vaccinate up to a billion people,” the bank said in a statement.
The money is part of an overall package from the World Bank Group (WBG) of up to 160 billion US dollars by June 2021, which is intended to help developing countries fight the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“This funding package signals to the research and pharmaceutical industry that citizens in developing countries also need access to safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines,” the statement said.
“It will also provide funding and technical assistance to help developing countries prepare for large-scale vaccine use in coordination with international partners.”
Access to safe and effective vaccines “and enhanced delivery systems are key to changing the course of the pandemic and helping countries with catastrophic economic and fiscal effects to recover,” said David Malpass, President of the World Bank Group, in the statement.
The funding “will also help countries gain access to Covid-19 testing and treatment and expand vaccination capacity to help health systems use the vaccines effectively,” the statement added.
Funding approval was expected as Malpass announced the project in late September.
While vaccines are not yet on the market, Malpass noted in an interview with the French daily Le Figaro that preparation was needed due to the complicated process of distributing vaccines.
The bank’s approach draws on its “significant expertise in supporting large-scale immunization programs against vaccine-preventable diseases and public health programs to combat infectious diseases such as HIV, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases”.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and posted from a syndicated feed.)