WASHINGTON, May 31, 2022 — The World Bank’s Vice President for the Latin American and Caribbean region approved on May 23rd, 2022, an additional financing of US$35 million for the Haiti COVID-19 Response Project. This financing will help ensure effective vaccine deployment in the country and finance additional affordable COVID-19 vaccines in an equitable way, in case of additional need for COVID-19 vaccines. The strengthening of the country’s vaccination system will enhance Haiti’s preparedness for eventual future health crises.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have been leveraging all our instruments to support the country response capacity, including investment projects, the activation of projects’ Contingent Emergency Response Components (CERCs), fund reallocation, to contain the expected economic losses generated by the pandemic in Haiti” said Laurent Msellati, World Bank Country Manager for Haiti. “This additional financing will provide essential resources to enable the expansion of a sustained and comprehensive pandemic response, including the strengthening of COVID19 vaccination programs and preparedness and prevention plans.”
Despite a relatively low overall incidence of mortality in Haiti, the pandemic has been causing severe disruptions to the health care system. In June 2021, outpatient consultations had decreased by 34 percent compared to expected levels, and child immunizations were also down. With 1.1 percent of the population being fully vaccinated and 1.6 percent of the population having received at least their first dose, as of May 15, 2022, the country ranks among the world’s bottom 10 countries in terms of COVID-19 vaccination coverage.
The additional financing for the Haiti COVID-19 Response Project will help the Government of Haiti to deploy COVID-19 vaccines successfully, purchase additional vaccines if needed, and strengthen relevant health system functions that are necessary for a successful vaccine deployment. The additional financing will help achieve a ten percent vaccination coverage among the country’s population, focusing on priority populations. The project will continue to provide support to minimize imported cases of COVID-19 and to limit local transmission through containment strategies, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve. It will also continue to support the enhancement of disease detection capacities through technical expertise, laboratory equipment, and systems while strengthening the critical core functions of the health system.
The initial Haiti COVID-19 Response Project was approved on April 2nd, 2020. It helped to limit the transmission of the pandemic in Haiti through detection, infection control in health facilities, enhancing testing, minimizing spread through contact tracing of confirmed cases, and providing needed laboratory and protective equipment for healthcare staff. The project also reinforced communication activities and supported the development of the COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan by the Ministry of Health.
For more information, please visit: www.worldbank.org/caribbean