World Bank offers Nigeria $ 400 million loan for COVID-19 vaccines

The World Bank’s board of directors has approved a credit of $ 400 million as well as funding from the International Development Association in Nigeria to boost COVID-19 vaccination in the country.

A statement titled “Nigeria to step up COVID-19 vaccination with new funding for vaccine procurement and deployment” and posted on the bank’s website on Friday contained this.

The statement read in part: “The government of Nigeria today received approval from the Board of Directors of the World Bank for a credit of $ 400 million in additional funding from the International Development Association to provide funding. initial for the safe and effective acquisition and deployment of the COVID-19 vaccine within the country. This will be implemented as part of the COVID-19 preparedness and response project.

“The additional funding is designed to ensure COVID-19 vaccination of 40 million Nigerians, increasing the vaccination rate by up to 50%.

“Building on the government‘s plan to break the chain of local transmission of COVID-19 and limit the spread of the virus, the original COVID-19 response program will be expanded to allow equitable access to vaccine procurement COVID-19 affordable for 18% (40 million) of the Nigerian population and supporting the effective deployment of vaccines for 50 percent (110 million) of its citizens.

World Bank Country Director for Nigeria Shubham Chaudhuri said: “As the Nigerian government continues to tackle the effects of a third wave of the pandemic, it is crucial that it continues to immunize its citizens in addition. to resort to non-pharmaceutical interventions to avoid the dire consequences of yet another lockdown that has left in its wake an economic toll the country continues to grapple with. ”

He added: “This additional funding would ensure that the Nigerian government has the necessary financial resources to continue its vaccination campaign.

“This would mean that Nigerians will have increased access to the COVID-19 vaccination. “

The statement also revealed that the additional funding would be used to purchase and deploy COVID-19 vaccines, strengthen relevant health systems and prepare for future health emergencies.

“The additional funding will enable Nigeria to purchase and deploy COVID-19 vaccines, strengthen relevant health systems that are necessary for a successful deployment and prepare for future health emergencies,” he said.

He added, “Most importantly, this will enable the procurement of vaccines to support Nigeria’s goal of having access to vaccines under the right conditions (value for money, regulatory approvals and delivery time, among others. important characteristics).

“This will ensure that the government meets its plans to immunize 51% of its population in two years. ”

The statement also quoted the head of the World Bank task force for the project, Ayodeji Ajiboye, who reportedly said: “Recognizing that there is currently an excessive demand for vaccines from high and low income countries. income, the additional funds would enable Nigeria to acquire the vaccine. at the earliest, strengthen the capacity of all states and the Federal Capital Territory to deploy vaccines, as well as strengthen the country’s health system responses, such as improving the health emergency response capacity of workers health, cold chain equipment, disease surveillance, data management and usage, and laboratory testing for the long term.

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