Additional Financing for the Panama COVID-19 Emergency Response will enable access to vaccines and help ensure effective vaccine deployment.
WASHINGTON, D.C., March 28, 2022 – The World Bank approved today US$100 million in additional financing to further strengthen Panama’s vaccination and public health systems. The loan will help Panama vaccinate its eligible population (ages 5 and older) and purchase approximately 4.25 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines.
The additional funds expand the US$20 million Panama COVID-19 Emergency Response Project, approved by the World Bank on June 11, 2020, to prevent, detect and respond to the threat posed by COVID-19 and strengthen Panamanian public health systems.
“One of the main public policies of our country in both 2021 and 2022 is the vaccination strategy, since this will allow the sustainability of the economic reopening and our country to continue in constant economic growth.,” said Héctor Alexander, Minister of Economy and Finance of Panama.
The Additional Financing will provide US$60 million for the acquisition of vaccines doses and US$40 million to increase activities to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and strengthen case detection and provision of health services. Activities will include additional communication campaigns to address vaccine hesitancy and concerns about pediatric vaccines; these campaigns will reach indigenous populations and remote communities with culturally sensitive messages, including in indigenous languages. Importantly, the Additional Financing will support the strengthening of integrated waste management in some pilot sites and the expansion of the telemedicine program to provide alternative access to basic health services to patients with COVID-19 and people living with chronic conditions.
To date, more than 72 percent of the eligible population has been fully vaccinated, which corresponds to about 66 percent of the total population in Panama. Starting from January 7, 2022, the Government of Panama extended the eligible population for COVID-19 vaccination to include people ages 5 and older, bringing the total eligible population to almost 4 million people.
“The COVID-19 vaccination campaign has been successful, and Panama is one of the countries in Central America with the highest percentage of the population who is fully vaccinated. The additional financing will provide essential resources for expanding the vaccination program and sustaining a comprehensive pandemic response to save lives and protect the health of Panamanians,” said Michel Kerf, World Bank Director for Central America and the Dominican Republic.
The US$100 million loan for the Additional Financing to the Panama COVID-19 Emergency Response has a final maturity of 20 years, including a grace period of 3 years.
World Bank Group Response to COVID-19
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Bank Group has deployed over $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 70 low- and middle-income countries, more than half of which are in Africa, with the purchase and deployment of COVID-19 vaccines, and is making available $20 billion in financing for this purpose until the end of 2022.
Learn more about the work of the World Bank in Latin America and the Caribbean.
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