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Ethiopia to Rapidly Scale Up COVID-19 Vaccination with World Bank Support

WASHINGTON, May 31, 2022—Health service delivery in Ethiopia has been disrupted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, damage to public health infrastructure, and a lack of capacity due to conflict in different parts of the country.

To help address some of these challenges and in line with the World Bank Group’s Strategy for Fragility, Conflict and Violence which emphasizes sustained engagement in volatile environments and building effective institutions, the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved today a $195 million International Development Association (IDA*) grant in support of Ethiopia’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Project. This additional financing will support Ethiopia’s efforts to scale up the availability and deployment of COVID-19 vaccines nationwide with particular emphasis on reaching rural areas and vulnerable communities affected by the conflict. Furthermore, the funds will support the rehabilitation of public health facilities damaged by the conflict in different parts of the country.

This timely financing will bring sustainable support to Ethiopia’s overburdened health system. It will help reduce the spread and impact of COVID-19 by scaling up vaccine roll-outs throughout the country with the goal of doubling the country’s vaccination rate, which currently remains below 30%,” said Ousmane Dione, World Bank Country Director for Eritrea, Ethiopia, South Sudan, and Sudan. “Additionally, the project will give a vital boost to Ethiopia’s health system in order to ensure the delivery of essential maternal and child healthcare, nutrition, and other key services.”

Specifically, the project will support the procurement of additional doses of COVID-19 vaccines, hospital intensive care unit (ICU) equipment to further improve the management of severe cases of COVID-19 and other illnesses, training of community health workers, and rehabilitation of primary health care units damaged by the conflict throughout the country. These activities are geared towards helping Ethiopia’s efforts to achieve 60% COVID-19 vaccination coverage by the end of the 2023 calendar year.

In order to ensure that every Ethiopian understands the importance of vaccination and to accelerate vaccine uptake (which is partly due to vaccine hesitancy), the project will also support the design of innovative and context specific communication and community mobilization activities nationwide.

This additional financing complements the preceding $495 million IDA support to the sector for the country’s overall COVID-19 response. As of May 2022, nearly 30 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered throughout the country.

*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 74 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change to the 1.3 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since 1960, IDA has provided $458 billion to 114 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $29 billion over the last three years (FY19-FY21), with about 70 percent going to Africa. Learn more online: #IDAworks



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