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Speeches & Transcripts December 6, 2021

Remarks by World Bank Group President David Malpass at the USAID Development Ministerial on COVID-19

Thank you, Administrator Power. 

I’d like to first describe our COVID-19 engagement and then raise attention on several of the key challenges for increasing the vaccination rate. 

Over the weekend, we reached 100 million doses delivered with World Bank financing. Three-quarters has already been administered in 38 countries, partnering with AVAT and COVAX, and through direct contracting and our work with UNICEF. We will reach 150 million doses delivered by end-December if doses arrive per contracted schedules, with almost 300 million doses so far contracted.  In terms of commitments, by end-December, we expect to reach $7.5 billion in vaccine financing operations for 69 countries. 

Vaccine access remains a binding constraint for the poorest countries. It is important that the generous dose donation pledges made by wealthier countries be fulfilled as quickly as possible. Also important for near-term supply are delivery swaps, of the type recently executed between the African Union, the U.S. and Moderna. 

Readiness and deployment are critical. Ample funding is available and we’re working with partners, many of you here today, to address the current crisis and prepare for future ones. Since the start of the pandemic, we have provided over $10 billion to countries for PPE, oxygen, and other medical countermeasures.

Many countries are administering doses quite effectively. Countries like Ecuador and Sri Lanka that have rolled out impressive vaccination programs offer good lessons. In the Philippines, a World Bank supported program played a key role in helping to overcome deeply entrenched vaccine hesitancy. 

Importantly, through IFC, we are supporting investments in vaccine manufacturing and we welcome last week’s licensing agreement between J&J and Aspen Pharmacare. 

Enhanced data and transparency are key to ensuring that resources flow to where they are most needed. This a core part of our work, including through the Multilateral Leaders Task Force. 

I’m pleased to announce today that we are launching a new World Bank Vaccine Deployment Tracker that identifies countries in urgent need of financial and operational support to resolve specific bottlenecks to scale up vaccine deployment. The tracker is based on joint work between the World Bank and the COVAX Country Readiness and Delivery Team, which includes WHO, UNICEF, GAVI and other partners. We will work with partners to refine and improve the Tracker. 

The World Bank is collaborating with donor and developing countries, vaccine manufacturers, and partners on the ground, to end this pandemic. And we continue to support countries to strengthen pandemic prevention and preparedness, which requires sustained, long-term, predictable financing across sectors. Both IDA and IBRD have the capacity to provide surge financing and an array of pre-arranged financing tools, like Catastrophe Deferred Drawdown Options, that incentivize countries to invest in preparedness. Pandemic preparedness is an important focus of the IDA20 replenishment, and I would like to urge all participants here today to support increased support for IDA20. 

Thank you.