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PRESS RELEASE June 29, 2021

World Bank Approves $24 Million to Support Zambia with COVID-19 Vaccines

WASHINGTON, June 29, 2021 – The World Bank approved $24 million in additional financing to the Republic of Zambia for the acquisition and equitable distribution of COVID-19 (coronavirus) vaccines.

The financing will help Zambia access and distribute COVID-19 vaccines and strengthen the country’s vaccination and health care system for COVID-19 response and maintenance of essential Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health and Nutrition (RMNCAH-N) through the COVID-19 pandemic response.

“Effective deployment of the vaccines will help Zambia protect its people, build human capital, and contribute to inclusive growth,” said Sahr Kpundeh, World Bank Country Manager for Zambia. “Zambia’s access to COVID-19 vaccines is critical to accelerate economic and social recovery from the shock of the pandemic.”

Of the total amount, $14 million is provided by the International Development Association* (IDA) as a credit, and $10 million is provided through grant financing by the Global Financing Facility for Women, Children and Adolescents (GFF). This additional financing follows a $20 million IDA credit co-financed with $5 million grant from the Global Financing Facility through the COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health System Preparedness Project. The project was prepared under the COVID-19 Strategic Preparedness and Response Program (SPRP) using the Multiphase Programmatic Approach (MPA) in April 2020to prevent, control, detect and respond to the threat posed by COVID-19 and strengthen national systems for public health preparedness. The new IDA grant brings the total amount made available for the Zambia COVID-19 Emergency Response to $49 million.

“The additional financing will support investments to bring immunization systems and service delivery capacity to the level required to successfully deploy COVID-19 vaccines to scale” said Rosemary Sunkutu, Senior Health Nutrition and Population Specialist and Task Team Leader of the project.

Currently, Zambia is in a crisis, responding to a third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic that led to a decline in the utilization of essential health services due to constraints on both the supply and demand sides. Although the Government of Zambia has put in place several measures to contain the virus and mitigate its impact, the pandemic is expected to have devastating impacts on health and human development.

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.

* The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 76 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change to the 1.6 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 113 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $21 billion over the last three years, with about 61 percent going to Africa