WASHINGTON D.C., October 1, 2021 – The World Bank Board of Directors today approved a US$500 million loan to strengthen Argentina’s efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. The loan will be used to procure vaccines for over 30 percent of the population, as well to support the implementation of the national vaccination plan.
“International financing is key to ensure the continuity of the national vaccination plan with which we are reaching half of the population, and which has proven to be one of the most effective tools to protect our people from an unprecedented virus and suffering for Argentina and the world,” said Juan Manzur, Chief of the Cabinet of Ministers.
"This financing operation of the World Bank will allow to continue advancing in the vaccination plan against COVID-19, a central element for the economic and social recovery of Argentina," said the National Secretary of Strategic Affairs Gustavo Beliz.
In April 2020, the World Bank supported the country’s initial pandemic response with the COVID-19 Emergency Response Project. Currently, the country must ensure the continuity of the immunization process in 2021 and 2022, with a view to expanding and diversifying vaccine access to ensure complete vaccination of adults and to begin vaccinating adolescents.
"In the context of a global shortage of vaccines and given the uncertainty owing to the more contagious COVID-19 variants, we are supporting the Argentine government's vaccination plan to guarantee timely, equitable and diverse vaccine access, especially for the most vulnerable population. This is crucial for protecting lives and returning to the normality that will enable the Argentine economy to recover,” said Jordan Schwartz, World Bank Director for Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay.
The project will also support training activities for healthcare workers and the technical assistance needed to strengthen the country’s immunization campaign. It will also contribute to the tracking and follow-up of vaccinated individuals, as well as communication activities to encourage the entire target population to be vaccinated and activities to close gender gaps.
"International financing is very important to ensure the continuity of the national vaccination plan with which we are close to reaching half of the population," said the National Minister of Health Carla Vizzotti, who also stressed: “The vaccination strategy against COVID-19 has proven to be one of the most effective tools to protect argentines and, without ignoring care measures, leave the pandemic behind”.
"We work together with the Ministry of Health to increase the purchase options of vaccines against COVID-19, and to support health and technical personnel, who have worked tirelessly carrying on their shoulders the human part of the response to the pandemic", said Vanina Camporeale, World Bank Senior Operations Specialist and project manager.
The additional funding for the COVID-19 Emergency Response Project is a variable-spread loan with a maturity period of 19 years and a five-year grace period.
World Bank Group COVID-19 Response
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Bank Group has deployed over US$ 157 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 supporting over 50 low- and middle-income countries, more than half of which are in Africa, with the purchase and deployment of COVID-19 vaccines. It is making US$ 20 billion in financing available for this purpose until the end of 2022.
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