The World Bank is preparing an emergency COVID-19 vaccine financing initiative in 21 countries in Africa, including Ghana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Niger, Mozambique, Tunisia, Eswatini and Cape Verde.
This follows authorization of up to US$12 billion to support countries in their vaccination efforts, which has paved way for individual vaccination programmes through the Board.
The funds are available now, and for most African countries, the financing would be on grant or highly concessional terms, adding, IFC is working to mobilize financing for vaccine production and therapeutics focused on developing countries.
“In implementing our vaccines programmes, we’re working directly with governments, including to finance their purchases from vaccine manufacturers and via COVAX. For deployment efforts, we’re working with partners such as the WHO and UNICEF”, World Bank Group President David Malpass disclosed at the Virtual Meeting on the Africa COVID-19 Vaccine Financing and Deployment Strategy.
“I urge you to focus and prioritize efforts toward these funding programs, and not slow the momentum through complex contracts and intermediaries. Our financing is available today and vaccine manufacturers are eager to work with countries on delivery dates and direct contracts”, he further said.
He mentioned that “our Country Directors and Country Managers have been in contact with all of you. We would encourage those countries that have not yet requested World Bank support to send a letter to their World Bank Country Director asking for support for vaccine procurement and deployment from the US$12 billion facility. We look forward to receiving these letters so that our teams can expeditiously support you”.
“To conclude, we urge leaders of African countries to move quickly to secure vaccinations for their populations, and to avail themselves of the financing available from us and other partners to help with this. The World Bank Group stands ready to work swiftly with our clients and partners to respond to this pandemic”.
African loses US$13.8 billion in GDP monthly
In every month, the delay of vaccine costs the African continent US$13.8 billion in Gross Domestic Product.
That’s in addition to the loss of lives and human capital.
“As President Ramaphosa emphasized, vaccinations are a huge undertaking for every country”, David Malpass said.
The World Bank is assisting with many aspects including facilitating the procurement of vaccines.