The World Bank pledged to boost available funding for COVID-19 vaccine purchases and deployment to $20 billion, citing a sharp increase in overall financing demand from developing countries.
World Bank President David Malpass said that the global development bank had already provided more than $4 billion to 51 developing countries. This is for the purchase and deployment of COVID-19 vaccines, and soon would add billions for 25 more countries. Malpass also told reporters that a total of 41 requests had been received from African countries. In Africa less than half the population has been vaccinated so far. In a joint statement the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the World Health Organization urged G20 countries to embrace vaccinated population targets of at least 40% by the end of 2021 and 60% by the first half of 2022.
Finance leaders of G20 major economies are going to meet in Italy, to adopt the goal of sharing at least 1 billion vaccine doses with developing countries this year. They are also been urged to increase financing and eliminate trade barriers in the vaccine supply chain. Malpass also redoubled his call for countries with surplus doses to release them. He also said that the World Bank was also continuing to press for greater transparency by governments and pharmaceutical companies about vaccine contracts.
Malpass said that they are at war with the vaccine, as the Covid is not going too go away easily. We can’t have sufficient information about the production because of the tight supplies and high demand. The world bank officials said that the decision to increase funding for vaccinations reflects growing concern about widely divergent vaccination rates between different economies. The World bank ‘s managing director for operations, Axel van Trotsenburg said that they have seen a sharp increase in overall financing demand from developing countries during this pandemic.
He told reporters that the World Bank ‘s International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the International Development Association had made lending commitments of nearly $100 billion since the start of the pandemic. Van Trotsenburg noted that many middle-income countries in Latin America are requesting financing from the bank. The World Bank ‘s vaccine financing package can be used by countries to buy vaccine doses through COVAX, the new African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT).