The World Bank has added $8 billion more for Covid-19 vaccines, totalling $20 billion, for developing countries. Earlier it had announced $12 billion.
The funding will be available through 2022, it said in a statement on Wednesday.
“In view of the surging demand for World Bank vaccine finance, I am pleased to announce today that the World Bank is expanding its financing available for Covid-19 vaccine financing to $20 billion over the next 18 months, adding $8 billion to the previously announced $12 billion,” said World Bank Group President David Malpass, in the statement.
Malpass also called on countries with surplus doses to release it for use by developing countries, and for vaccine manufacturers to prioritise the available doses for the developing countries that so urgently need them.
On Wednesday, the bank’s private financing arm the International Finance Corporation secured a 600 million euro package for a South African vaccine manufacturer to ramp up production of Covid-19 treatment therapies and vaccines in the African continent.
Further, the Bank also provided over $4 billion for the purchase and deployment of Covid vaccines for 51 developing countries, half of which are in Africa.
Since the start of the Covid pandemic, the World Bank Group has approved more than $150 billion to fight the health, economic, and social impacts of the pandemic.
Since April 2020, the Bank has scaled up its financing by over 50 per cent, helping more than 100 countries meet emergency health needs, strengthen pandemic preparedness, while also supporting countries as they protect the poor and jobs, and jump-starting a climate-friendly recovery.
Malpass also confirmed the deal with Johnson & Johnson for 400 million doses for Africans
“The World Bank now is helping developing countries in every region of the world with vaccine purchase and rollouts, including efforts to boost supply, enhance transparency, accelerate deployment, and match available doses with country needs,” Malpass said.
“Significant challenges still remain regarding vaccine deployment and hesitancy. We are taking action on all fronts to tackle these challenges, working in solidarity with international and regional partners to expedite doses to as many people as possible and to enhance disease surveillance, preparedness, and response,” added Axel van Trotsenburg, World Bank Managing Director of Operations.