World Bank increases funding for Covid-19 vaccine
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The World Bank said on Wednesday it had increased its fund for the Covid-19 vaccine for developing countries from $ 8 billion to $ 20 billion.
In addition, the bank’s private financing arm has secured a package of 600 million euros for a South African vaccine manufacturer to increase production, the institution said.
“Together, the actions announced today on the production, deployment and financing of vaccines will save lives, stimulate economic recovery and help ensure people in developing countries have a chance to prosper,” the president told reporters. of the World Bank Group, David Malpass.
The $ 20 billion is available until 2022 to finance the distribution of vaccines as well as cold chains and training of health workers, the bank said in a statement.
As of Wednesday, the bank had distributed $ 4.4 billion to 51 developing countries, half of which was in the form of grants or low-cost loans.
Malpass again urged advanced countries to step up their support for access to vaccines in developing countries, including distributing excess doses, especially as more of the population in rich countries is receiving their vaccines. .
Axel van Trotsenburg, Chief Operating Officer of the World Bank, said: “Significant challenges remain regarding vaccine deployment and reluctance. We are taking action on all fronts to meet these challenges.
Since the start of the pandemic, the Washington-based development lender has approved more than $ 150 billion to help address the health and social impacts of the crisis.
At the same time, the bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) has partnered with French, German and US development agencies on a finance package for Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Limited, a leading pharmaceutical company in South Africa.
The resources will allow the company to refinance its debt and increase vaccine production, IFC said in a statement.
The company contracted with Johnson & Johnson to complete and package the single dose vaccine.
“Aspen seeks to play a meaningful role in contributing to the goal of meeting the majority of Africa’s needs from production sites located in Africa,” said Stephen Saad, Managing Director of the Aspen Group.
© 2021 AFP