The World Bank Group on October 13 approved funds of $12 billion for developing countries to finance the purchase and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines for their citizens. The financing is part of an overall package of $160 billion that the World Bank is planning to release by next year for developing countries. The World Bank with its financing also aims to provide treatments for the disease and increase the testing capacity of the countries, apart from the purchasing of COVID-19 vaccines.
"We are extending and expanding our fast-track approach to address the COVID emergency so that developing countries have fair and equal access to vaccines. Access to safe and effective vaccines and strengthened delivery systems are key to alter the course of the pandemic and help countries experiencing catastrophic economic and fiscal impacts move toward a resilient recovery," said World Bank Group President David Malpass.
The main objective is to strengthen the pandemic response system in developing countries. The financing will also focus on building more efficient supply chain and logistics management for vaccine storage handling, trained vaccinators, and large-scale communication and outreach campaigns to reach communities and households.
World Bank Group's private sector arm International Finance Corporation (IFC) is also investing $4 billion in vaccine manufacturing firms to ramp up the production of potential vaccines and ensure that the developing markets gain access to available drugs. A COVID-19 vaccine is yet to come to the market for large scale use, however, several drugs around the world are in their final phase of testing. Experts believe that a treatment will be available by next year.