Africa to profit off Ksh.1.3 trillion World Bank vaccine fund

The World Bank has and the African Union (AU) have announced plans to support direct vaccine procurement on the continent of Africa. The pair is expected to partner in supporting the Africa Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT) initiative with resources to allow countries purchase and deploy vaccines to 400 million persons. The World Bank says it has a Ksh.1.3 trillon ($12 billion) war chest available to help countries purchase and distribute vaccines in addition to addressing readiness issues. By the end of this month, the multi-lateral lender expects to support vaccination efforts in 50 countries, with two-thirds of this in Africa. The World Bank financed COVID-19 vaccine operations allow countries to purchase vaccines through the COVAX initiative, regional initiatives and through bilateral procurement from manufacturers. Additionally, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), World Bank’s private sector arm is leading a consortium to support Africa’s regional vaccine production. “The World Bank is very pleased to support African countries through this partnership with the African Union to quickly provide hundreds of millions of doses,” said World Bank Group President David Malpass. “Working together, we can expedite doses to countries and support deployment. Countries urgently need more pathways for acquiring vaccines that match their needs and have early delivery schedules.” The new funding from the World Bank is set to bridge the regions inoculation gap to developed economies as Africa lags behind in vaccine acquisitions and distribution. According to reporting by Bloomberg, while the US and the United Kingdom have fully inoculated about 45 per cent of their population while only 0.8 per cent of Africa’s 1.1 billion population has received two doses.

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