An effective and safe COVID-19 vaccine is the most promising path forward for the world to reopen safely. The global economy will not recover fully until people feel they can live, socialize, work, and travel with confidence.
- The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has approved an envelope of $12 billion for developing countries to finance the purchase and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, tests, and treatments for their citizens.
- This financing will support broad and rapid access to vaccines. It will support countries in getting initial vaccine doses to those who need them first in low- and middle-income countries (IDA and IBRD) that have limited access.
- This builds on the COVID emergency response programs that we already have up and running in 111 countries, which are making rapid progress.
- We are aiming to disburse the largest share of this support in the next 12 to 24 months. Financing will be available immediately and will be provided in accordance with countries’ existing eligibility for grants, credits, and loans.
- This financing package helps signal to the research and pharmaceutical industry that citizens in developing countries need equal access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines.
- Global access to safe and effective vaccines will save lives and livelihoods and accelerate the economic and social recovery the world needs.
How it works:
- Developing countries will have flexibility to choose the best approach and to use the financing in ways that best help them, based on their specific context and needs:
o To facilitate access, we will help countries procure vaccines through various approaches (i.e., country mechanisms, multilateral mechanisms currently led by WHO and GAVI through COVAX, Bank-facilitated procurement and implementation support).
o To support deployment, the Bank is working with partners to assess the readiness of country health systems and identify gaps and areas for possible investment, as part of our ongoing support to countries’ COVID-19 response. This involves analysis of policy and regulatory capacities, information systems, and health infrastructure including cold chains, as well as consultations with communities and beneficiaries.
- The Bank will help client countries develop appropriate criteria for making the selected vaccine available to all their citizens.
o There is consensus to first target health workers, other essential workers, and priority groups such as the elderly, people with co-morbidities, and others at high risk from COVID-19.
o The Bank will ensure that the allocation mechanisms within countries are fair and equitable.
- Eligible low and middle-income countries (IBRD/IDA countries) can apply for financing as part of their coronavirus responses, including for the purchase and distribution of vaccines.
o Interested governments will work with the World Bank to prepare a project document under the World Bank’s fast-track emergency response that details how the financing will be used.
IFC’s support on vaccines
Another important part of the World Bank Group’s response has come from IFC, our private sector arm: the $4 billion Global Health Platform, through which we will support private companies in delivering health products and services – including vaccines – to developing countries. This includes:
- Investments in vaccine manufacturers to foster expanded production of COVID-19 vaccines in low- and middle-income countries, with production reserved for emerging markets.
- Ability to invest in production to address other potential bottlenecks, including vials, needles and syringes, and cold storage capacity.
- Support for mapping COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing capacity, focusing especially on potential bottlenecks in manufacturing processes.
General information on the World Bank Group’s COVID-19 response:
As countries around the world work to contain the spread and impact of COVID-19, the World Bank Group has mounted the fastest and largest crisis response in its history to help developing countries strengthen their pandemic response and health care systems.
With the pandemic’s rapid spread into developing countries, the Bank Group delivered a record $45 billion in financial support between April and June 2020, reflecting the urgency of the crisis and the scale of demand. This represents over one-fourth of the $160 billion in financing that the Bank Group can make available through June 2021. It is tailored to the health, economic, and social shocks that countries are facing, and includes over $50 billion of IDA resources on grant and highly concessional terms.
The Bank Group’s emergency support operations are helping over 100 developing countries save lives and detect, prevent, and respond to the pandemic.
Last Updated: Oct 14, 2020