The World Bank has approved operations to support vaccine rollout in 32 countries amounting to $3 billion.
Through this, the World Bank Group is working with partners on the largest vaccination effort in history to stop the COVID-19 pandemic.
On April 2, 2020, at the initial COVID-19 response phase, the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved a $6 billion Global COVID-19 Response Program (also called the COVID-19 Strategic Preparedness and Response Program, or SPRP). The program has reached over 100 countries with emergency operations to prevent, detect, and respond to COVID-19 and strengthen systems for public health preparedness.
The timing of potential vaccine development was not known when the SPRP was approved, but global vaccine development efforts progressed rapidly.
Recognizing the need for COVID-19 vaccines, on October 13, 2020, the World Bank Board approved additional financing of $12 billion to the SPRP for developing countries to finance the acquisition and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines
So far, countries receiving World Bank support for vaccines as of June 10, 2021, are
Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cabo Verde, Congo Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Ecuador, El Salvador, Eswatini, Ethiopia, The Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Honduras, Kyrgyz Republic, Lao PDR, Lebanon, Lesotho, Moldova, Mongolia, Mozambique, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Rwanda, São Tomé e Príncipe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Togo Tunisia, Ukraine.
While countries with projects under preparation in the fiscal year 2021 are, Benin, Cambodia, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Indonesia, Jordan, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritania, Niger, Papua New Guinea, Sudan, Yemen, Zambia.
The World Bank’s rapid mobilization of vaccine financing aims to support affordable and equitable vaccine acquisition and deployment and to signal to potential suppliers that Bank financing is available to its clients.
Such a commitment provides an incentive to the vaccine manufacturers to supply developing economies at affordable prices. All eligible Bank client countries (IBRD/IDA) can access the vaccine financing within their current lending envelopes for IDA countries and exposure limits for IBRD.
The World Bank Group is working in global solidarity with COVAX, WHO, UNICEF, and other partners at global and country levels to support IDA and IBRD countries.
This financing can be used by countries to make payments to COVAX, including the purchase of additional doses beyond the COVAX-provided 20% as countries aim for higher levels of coverage
The approach draws on the World Bank Group’s 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 vaccine distribution is to help countries get ready to deploy vaccines and strengthen their health systems, Bank financing is used to establish policies for safe and effective deployment, expand storage and build cold chains, develop data and tracking systems, train health workers and build trust in immunizations through citizen and community engagement.