• Friday, May 07, 2021
  • Last Update : 12:22 pm

Government to sign $500m Covid-19 vaccine deal with World Bank

  • Published at 06:34 pm April 12th, 2021
Covid-19 vaccine
Covishield, the Covid-19 vaccine produced by Serum Institute of India Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

The World Bank Board of Executive Directors approved the fund in March to facilitate the vaccination of 54 million Bangladeshis

The Bangladesh government is all set to sign a $500 million funding agreement with the World Bank on Tuesday, to ensure the availability of resources to purchase and distribute Covid-19 vaccines.

Confirming the development, World Bank Senior External Affairs Officer Mehrin Ahmed Mahbub said the agreement would help Bangladesh strengthen its national system to ensure prompt delivery of vaccines to one-third of its population.

According to the World Bank, its Board of Executive Directors approved the funds from the International Development Association (IDA) on March 18 this year to help Bangladesh vaccinate 54 million people against Covid-19.

The fund will be provided as additional financing to the Covid-19 Emergency Response and Pandemic Preparedness Project (ERPP). 

World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh and Bhutan Mercy Miyang Tembon attested to the development and said Bangladesh is not in shortage of resources for getting vaccines. 

“The issue that we are facing now is the unavailability of vaccines, because Serum Institute is not producing as much and India is not exporting,” she added while addressing the virtual launch of a report on Monday.

Previously, the World Bank said it would help Bangladesh procure safe and effective vaccines, expand vaccine storage facilities, and distribute vaccines to about 31% of its population, in support of the government’s prioritized plan of covering 40% of the population in the first phase of vaccination.

The financing will cover the cost of deployment of the vaccines acquired through the Covid-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility (Covax) for about 20% of the population. For the remaining 11% of the population, the financing will cover direct purchases of vaccines from manufacturers or through Covax, and the costs related to administering the vaccination.

In parallel, the government is purchasing vaccines using its own resources that will cover another 9% of the population.

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