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PRESS RELEASEJune 10, 2022

World Bank to Provide US$120 Million for COVID-19 Vaccination Efforts in Costa Rica

Financing for the “Costa Rica COVID-19 Vaccines Project” will help mitigate the socioeconomic impact of the pandemic

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 10, 2022 – The World Bank approved today US$120 million financing to prevent, detect and respond to the threat posed by COVID-19 and strengthen national systems for public health preparedness in Costa Rica.

A part of the loan, no greater than 75 percent, will be used to retroactively finance the purchase of vaccines, and the rest will be for future purchases, in both cases, to increase vaccination coverage against COVID-19 to protect lives, ensure a sustained and safe reopening, and contribute to reducing the socioeconomic and fiscal burden of the pandemic in Costa Rica.

“In a context of low growth associated with economic and geopolitical risks, we will be able to use these resources to generate economic growth. Through this credit, the country will be able to guarantee greater protection for the population, as well as strengthen the efforts that we are carrying out to ensure the much-needed economic reactivation,” said Nogui Acosta Jaén, Minister of Finance of Costa Rica.

As of May 12, 2022, 85.7 and 79.8 percent of Costa Rica’s population has received one and two doses of the vaccine, respectively. This Project will help vaccinate around 48 percent of the country’s population, focusing on increasing vaccination coverage among children aged 5-11 years old and, administering third and fourth doses to boost immunity among the eligible population who received two doses in the past six months.

The Project builds on experiences and achievements of similar projects under implementation in the region and around the world. It will be implemented through the National Commission for Risk Prevention and Emergency Response (Comisión Nacional de Emergencias, CNE) and in coordination with the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social) and the Ministry of Health as entities leading the National Vaccination Plan.

This investment project is designed around two components:

· Support the purchase of COVID-19 vaccines and vaccination ancillary products, such as needles, syringes, alcohol. Up to 75 percent of which will retroactively finance the payments made between December 2021 and the signature of the Loan Agreement. The focus will continue to be increasing vaccination coverage, both in the younger population and in adult booster doses to increase immunity in the population, potentially covering up to 2 million people (US$119 million).

·  Support for project management and monitoring, including operating costs, training, and external audits. (US$1.0 million).

“Costa Rica’s health outcomes are among the best in the Latin America and the country’s social policies have resulted in sustained investments in human capital, but the pandemic increased poverty and unemployment rates. This financing will provide essential resources for saving and protecting lives, and for supporting economic recovery and growth,” said Oscar Avalle, World Bank Representative for Costa Rica and El Salvador.

The US$120 million loan for the “Costa Rica COVID-19 Vaccines Project” has a final maturity of 19.5 years, including a grace period of 4 years.

World Bank Group Response to COVID-19

From April 2020 to March 2022, the World Bank Group committed over $200 billion to public and private sector clients to fight the health, economic, and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the fastest and largest crisis response in its history. The financing is helping developing 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.

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Contacts

In Centroamérica:
Cynthia Flores Mora
(506) 7298-9160
In Washington
Yuri Szabo Yamashita
(202) 948-5341

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