The World Bank late on Tuesday approved an envelope of $12 billion for developing countries to finance the purchase and distribution of novel coronavirus vaccines, tests, and treatments for their residents.
The financing is part of an overall World Bank Group (WBG) package of up to $160 billion through June 2021 to fight the pandemic, according to a statement by the financial body.
It aims to support vaccination of up to a billion people.
This financing package is a signal to the research and pharmaceutical industry that citizens in developing countries also need access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines.
It will also provide financing and technical support so that developing countries can prepare for deploying vaccines at scale, in coordination with international partners.
“We are extending and expanding our fast-track approach to address the COVID emergency so that developing countries have fair and equal access to vaccines,” said David Malpass, the World Bank’s president.
Access to safe and effective vaccines and strengthened delivery systems is key to alter the course of the pandemic, he added.
The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the WBG’s private sector arm, is also investing in vaccine manufacturing through its $4 billion Global Health Platform.
The aim is to encourage ramped-up production of COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics in advanced and developing economies alike, and to ensure that emerging markets gain access to available doses.
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