Daily Management Review

World Bank Seeks Approval For $12 Billion For Covi-19 Vaccine For Poor Countries


World Bank Seeks Approval For $12 Billion For Covi-19 Vaccine For Poor Countries
The World Bank is seeking a fund of $12 billion to enable it to provide aid to the poorer countries to purchase and distribute vaccines for the novel coronavirus once they hit the market.
The Washington based institution has asked its board of directors to approve of the amount, the Bank said.
Emergency response programs in 111 countries have already been implemented by the bank and the additional money it is seeking would be targeted to be spent in low- and middle-income countries after its board grants approval.
"An effective and safe COVID-19 vaccine is the most promising path forward for the world to reopen safely," a World Bank spokesman said. "The global economy will not recover fully until people feel they can live, socialise, work and travel with confidence," he added.
It is planned to get the funds distributed over a 12 to 18 months period.
Even though no vaccine against Covid-19 is available commercially in the market, the World Bank believe that the "the process of distributing a vaccine is complex" and therefore it feels that it is important to anticipate the needs associated with it and prepare in advance, said World Bank President David Malpass in an interview to the French newspaper Le Figaro.
"We want the poorest countries to have access to it (a vaccine), and in these countries, we want the most vulnerable people and medical personnel to be vaccinated," he said.
There is enough experience present at the Washington-based development lender with respect to immunisation programmes such as those that are targeted against diseases like polio and measles as well as in the management of crisis situations such as the Ebola outbreaks, Malpass said.
In another interview to Reuters, Malpass said that the latest initiative of the World Bank is a part of $160 billion in coronavirus aid financing that it had promised and will be used exclusively for procurement and distribution of Covid-19 vaccines as soon as they become commercially available for the healthcare and other essential workers while also helping to expand global production of vaccines.
The World Bank board is expected to consider the plans in early October.
Even though no vaccine is commercially available in the market, the wealthy countries are already trying to secure doses for its citizens through advance contracts with vaccine candidates.  For example, a deal worth $3 billion has been struck between the United States government and Britain's AstraZeneca Plc for the vaccine that is still under development as well as another del with the US drug giant Pfizer Inc and Germany's BioNTech for doses of their vaccine.
Malpass said the World Bank plan aimed to put poor and middle-income countries, where the virus is spreading most rapidly, on the same footing as richer countries by ensuring they have financing to secure supplies and a system for distribution, which will encourage drugmakers to meet their demand
Between April and June a record $45 billion in financial support has already been rolled out by the World Bank when the global economy – and particularly the poor countries, was hit severely because of the pandemic. 
(Source:wwww.channelnewsasia.com & www.reuters.com)