The World Bank last year approved financing for vaccine purchase and deployment in over 64 countries, amounting to $6.3 billion.
So far, the World Bank said, almost 300 million COVID vaccine doses are under Bank contract for developing countries.
The Bank also partnered with COVAX and with the African Union to support the Africa Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT), which will help countries purchase and deploy vaccines for up to 400 million people.
The Bank Group has also joined forces with International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Trade Organizations (WTO), and the World Health Organizations (WHO) to convene the Multilateral Leaders Task Force on COVID-19 to step up coordination among multilateral institutions, governments, and the private sector to accelerate access to COVID-19 vaccines and other essential health tools for developing countries by leveraging multilateral finance and trade solutions.
In addition, World Bank financing has helped countries purchase personal protective Equipment (PPE), therapeutics, diagnostics and oxygen products.
Overall, the World Bank Group is supporting over 100 countries to help address the health emergency, strengthen health systems and pandemic preparedness, protect poor and vulnerable people, support businesses, create jobs and jump start a green, resilient, and inclusive recovery.
“From uneven economic recovery to unequal access to vaccines; from widening income losses to divergence in learning, COVID-19 has had a disproportionate impact on the poor and vulnerable in 2021. It is causing reversals in development and is dealing a setback to efforts to end extreme poverty and reduce inequality.
“Because of the pandemic, extreme poverty rose in 2020 for the first time in over 20 years and around 100 million more people are living on less than $1.90 a day. Through this series of charts and graphs, we share select research from the World Bank Group that illustrates the severity of the pandemic as it enters its third year. We also reflect on the Bank’s rapid and innovative response to the crisis.
“The quickest way to end the pandemic is by vaccinating the world. However, with just over 7 percent of people in low-income countries receiving a dose of the vaccines compared to over 75 percent in high-income countries, we need fair and broad access to effective and safe COVID-19 vaccines to save lives and strengthen global economic recovery.”
By Laud Nartey|3.ews.com|Ghana with additional files from the World Bank