The World Band Group has estimated that Africa will lose $13.8bn in Gross Domestic Product each month it delays prioritising the roll-out of the Coronavirus Disease vaccine.
This is in addition to the loss of lives and human capital, the World Bank President, David Malpass, remarked at the recent virtual meeting on the ‘Africa COVID-19 Vaccine Financing and Deployment Strategy.’
Stressing that vaccinations were a huge undertaking for every country, he said, “The World Bank can assist with many aspects, including facilitating the procurement of vaccines.
“Inoculating populations will require delivering the vaccines safely and effectively. Cold chain equipment, energy infrastructure, logistics, transport, community engagement and trained human resources are all key areas needed for effective deployment of vaccines.
“Where there are gaps in readiness, we should work quickly to fill them. Since the outbreak of COVID-19 last March, the bank has committed $25bn to African countries to support their health and economic recovery.”
He noted that the bank’s board authorised up to $12bn to support countries in their vaccination efforts.
“We’re preparing emergency vaccine financing projects in 21 countries in Africa, including Democratc Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Niger, Mozambique, Tunisia, Eswatini and Cabo Verde. The funds are available now, and for most African countries, the financing would be on grant or highly concessional terms,” he said.
According to Malpass, the International Finance Corporation is working to mobilise 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.
“I urge you to focus and prioritise efforts towards these funding programmes, 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.
“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,” he added.
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