The World Bank has committed $12 billion to African countries to support vaccination programs, the South African Presidency said in a statement on its website on Saturday, 29 January.
The money will be in the form of grants or on highly concessional terms, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said in the statement.
The statement follows a January 27 virtual meeting on the Africa Covid-19 vaccine financing and deployment strategy, which was attended by David Malpass, president of the World Bank.
The financing, which aims to support vaccination of up to a billion people, is part of an overall World Bank Group (WBG) package of up to $160 billion through June 2021 to help developing countries fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
It adds new financing to the World Bank’s Covid-19 emergency response programs that are already reaching 111 countries. This financing package helps 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. In implementing the program, the World Bank will support multilateral efforts currently led by WHO and COVAX.
The World Bank group, one of the largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries, is taking broad, fast action to help developing countries strengthen their pandemic response.