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PRESS RELEASE June 17, 2021

World Bank Approves $20 Million in Grants to Support COVID-19 Vaccination Rollout in Yemen

WASHINGTON, June 17, 2021 — The World Bank today approved a US$20 million grant package. This package is composed of US$9 million from International Development Association (IDA), US$$7.76 million from the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), and US$3.25 million from the Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Fund (HEPR). This is the first additional financing to the Yemen’s COVID-19 Response Project (YCRP), bringing the World Bank’s total contributions to the country’s national COVID-19 response and vaccination campaign to US$47 million. 

The additional resources will support some of the deployment costs of administering vaccines to at least 1.3 million people. It will also help cover the costs of monitoring and specialized analysis—carried out by the Health Resources and Services Availability Monitoring System (HeRAMS)—and more training for two national COVID-19 hotline centers in Aden and Sana’a.  The Yemen COVID-19 Response Project will continue to support the early detection and screening of the virus, provide essential medicines and medical equipment to treatment centers, and build the capacity of human resources to address the pandemic. 

Years of conflict have taken a massive toll on the health system in Yemen. Only half of the country’s health facilities remain open and still lack essential items to be fully functional –water, fuel, and oxygen amongst others.” said Tania Meyer, World Bank Country Manager for Yemen. “These additional resources will help strengthen the healthcare system, facilitate the rollout of the vaccine and protect the poorest households from the direct impact of the pandemic.

The scaled-up YCRP will build on work done since 2017 by the Emergency Health and Nutrition Project (EHNP), which was also supported by the World Bank and implemented through WHO and the UN’s Children’s Fund. That project has supported strengthening the health system through its support to 72 hospitals and close to 2,000 primary care facilities, as well as by responding to emergencies involving severe malnutrition due to a threat of famine, cholera epidemic, and COVID-19. 

The expanded health response to the pandemic, supported by development partners, is being coordinated by the Government of Yemen (GOY) and will provide essential resources for the ongoing pandemic response, including vaccination. 

The YCRP Additional Financing will play a significant role in deploying vaccines by supporting the deployment costs involved in administering the vaccine. It will continue improving the services provided by national laboratories, strengthening the surveillance capacity and case management of COVID-19 cases, and ensuring environmental and social safeguards,” said Jorge A. Coarasa, Senior Economist, Health and Task Team Leader

The project is aimed at helping Yemen mitigate the risks associated with the pandemic by strengthening its local capacity to address them. It will continue working with the country’s existing systems to provide technical health assistance at local levels.

World Bank Group COVID-19 Response:

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Bank Group has committed over $125 billion to fight the health, economic, and social impacts of the pandemic, the fastest and largest crisis response in its history. The financing is helping more than 100 countries strengthen pandemic preparedness, protect the poor and jobs, and jump start a climate-friendly recovery. The Bank is also providing $12 billion to help low- and middle-income countries purchase and distribute COVID-19 vaccines, tests, and treatments.


Ebrahim Al-Harazi