World Bank to offer $12 bn in vaccine loans to developing countries
15 October 2020
The World Bank will extend loans of up to $12 billion to developing countries to finance the purchase and distribution of Covid-19 vaccines, tests, and treatments for their citizens. Simultaneously, its private lending arm International Finance Corporation (IFC) is financing vaccine producers to boost supplies.
The financing, which aims to support vaccination of up to a billion people, is part of an overall World Bank Group package of up to $160 billion through June 2021 to help developing countries fight the Covid-19 pandemic.
It new financing is part of World Bank’s Covid-19 emergency response programmes that are already reaching 111 countries. This financing package is planned as a signal to the pharmaceutical industry and the multilateral efforts currently led by WHO and Covax to make coronavirus vaccine available to less developed countries, World Bank stated.
World Bank’s private lending arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), is also investing in vaccine manufacturers through its $4 billion Global Health Platform. The aim is to encourage ramped-up production of Covid-19 vaccines and therapeutics in advanced and developing economies alike — and to ensure that emerging markets gain access to available doses.
It will also provide financing and technical support so that developing countries can prepare for deploying vaccines at scale, in coordination with international partners “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 World Bank Group President David Malpass. “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.”
Developing countries will have different ways to acquire and deliver approved vaccines. The approach draws on the WBG’s significant expertise in supporting large scale immunization programs for vaccine preventable diseases, as well as public health programs to tackle infectious diseases such as HIV, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases.
The financing will also support countries to access to Covid-19 tests and treatments, and expand immunisation capacity to help health systems deploy the vaccines effectively. This includes supply chain and logistics management for vaccine storage handling, trained vaccinators, and large-scale communication and outreach campaigns to reach communities and households, thereby expanding the vaccine economy.
The new financing builds on the broader World Bank health program, which focuses on strengthening the health systems and health service delivery.
The World Bank Group, will be deploying up to $160 billion in financial support over 15 months to help more than 100 countries protect the poor and vulnerable, support businesses, and bolster economic recovery. This includes $50 billion of new IDA resources through grants and highly concessional loans, says a World Bank release.