President Biden, excellencies, and distinguished colleagues.
The World Bank Group is strongly supporting widespread access to COVID-19 vaccines, particularly in developing countries.
We welcome the global target of having at least 70 percent of the population fully vaccinated in all countries by UNGA 2022.
To help support this, the World Bank Group has a $20 billion facility to help developing countries purchase vaccines and set up vaccination systems.
We have funded vaccination programs in 54 countries. We are eager to increase both the amounts of funding and the range of countries, including through COVAX.
We have partnered with the African Union’s African Vaccine Acquisition Trust – AVAT – to increase delivery of vaccine doses for African and Caribbean countries and to tackle persistent vaccine delivery, manufacturing, and trade issues.
Shortages of vaccine deliveries remain a critical bottleneck. The World Bank Group, with the IMF, WHO, and WTO have formed a Task Force to accelerate access to COVID-19 vaccines.
The Multilateral Task Force’s data and analysis show that advanced economies have billions of excess doses beyond what is required to vaccinate their entire populations.
We’re urging countries with excess vaccine supplies to release doses quickly and transparently and to fulfill their generous donation pledges.
The Task Force is also urging governments to eliminate trade and regulatory barriers to the export of vaccines and other COVID-19 health tools.
To help build supply, the IFC, which is the World Bank Group’s private sector development arm, is investing in vaccine manufacturing and working to boost local production capacity in Africa.
Stopping the spread of COVID-19 through widespread vaccine distribution will increase health security for everyone and is critical to a full return to inclusive growth everywhere.