The World Bank has said that it is providing over $4 billion for the purchase and deployment of COVID-19 vaccines for 51 developing countries, half of which are in Africa.
The World Bank listed 51 countries that had benefitted from the N4 billion funding without Nigeria on the list.
It disclosed in a press statement was titled ‘World Bank financing for COVID-19 vaccine rollout exceeds $4bn for 50 countries’ on Wednesday.
The press statement read, “The World Bank announced today that it is providing over $4 billion for the purchase and deployment of COVID-19 vaccines for 51 developing countries, half of which are in Africa.
“More than half of the financing comes from the International Development Association, the bank’s fund for the world’s poorest countries, and is on grant or highly concessional terms.
“This financing is part of the bank’s commitment to help low and middle-income countries acquire and distribute vaccines and strengthen their health systems.”
The Bank also called on key stakeholders to engage in vaccine procurement and delivery.
A source at the World Bank, who spoke on why Nigeria was not included in the list of developing countries that had benefited from the over $4bn COVID-19 financing by the World Bank, said there were certain COVID-19 financing schemes going on in Nigeria, and as soon as such schemes were finalised, an announcement would be made.
He added that the funding was not a one-off thing and more countries would be included with time.
The statement indicated, “The World Bank reiterated its call to governments, pharmaceutical companies, and organisations involved in vaccine procurement and delivery to help increase transparency and build greater public information regarding vaccine contracts, options and agreements; vaccine financing and delivery agreements; and doses delivered and future delivery plans.
“It asked those countries anticipating excess vaccine supplies in the coming months to release their surplus doses and options as soon as possible, in a transparent manner, to developing countries with adequate distribution plans in place.”
The statement quoted the bank’s Managing Director, Operations, Axelvan Trotsenburg, as saying, “The World Bank is helping developing countries in every region of the world with vaccine purchase and rollout.
“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.”