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Speeches & Transcripts December 9, 2021

World Bank Statement at the 8th Facilitation Council Meeting of the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A)

  • Let me reiterate the World Bank Group’s support for ACT-A’s objectives. We continue to be an engaged partner of ACT-A and we support its shared objective of expanding equitable and affordable access to COVID-19 tools. The Bank is a co-convener of the ACT-A health systems connector. We are also happy to have contributed to shaping ACT-A’s Financing Framework for the coming year, which recognizes the important “complementary” role of MDBs in financing the global COVID19 response.
  • I’d like to briefly describe the World Bank Group’s COVID19 engagement and then raise attention on a few key challenges to end the pandemic. 
    • 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. 
    • Through IFC, we are supporting investments in vaccine manufacturing in Africa. 
    • In addition, since the start of the pandemic, we have provided over $10 billion to countries for PPE, oxygen, and other medical countermeasures.
  • Vaccine access remains a binding constraint for the poorest countries – and this must be addressed urgently. There are enough doses being produced; the challenge is to prioritize those doses for developing countries, through COVAX, AVAT and bilateral contracts. 
  • Readiness and deployment are critical, as supplies ramp up. We are working with partners, many of you here today, in real time to close country-level deployment gaps and get shots in arms. Our financial and technical assistance is helping to expand storage and cold chain capacity, cover freight costs and ancillary supplies, train vaccinators, and build trust in immunizations through citizen and community engagement. We are also strongly focused on the deployment of other COVID tools.
  • Better data and transparency are key to ensuring that resources flow to where they are most needed. This is a core part of our work, including through the Multilateral Leaders Task Force (MLT). The MLT is working with ACT-A on the joint Global COVID19 Access 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 as well as support pandemic prevention and preparedness. This is an important focus of the IDA20 replenishment, and I would like to urge all participants here today for increased support for IDA20.