World Bank approves Ksh.14 billion to Kenya for vaccine purchase

Revealed: Africa only makes 1% of its vaccine demand

Kenya is set to receive Ksh.14 billion (US$.130 million) from the World Bank to support the procurement of the coronavirus vaccines.

The additional financing under the Kenya COVID-19 Health Emergency Response Project will enable more vaccine access via the African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT) and COVAX.

“This additional financing comes at a critical time when the Government of Kenya is making concerted efforts to contain the rising cases of COVID-19 infections and accelerate the deployment of vaccines to a wider population,” said Keith Hansen, World Bank Country Director for Kenya.

“The upfront financing for the acquisition of COVID-19 vaccines will enable the government to expand access to more Kenyans free of cost.”

Proceeds from the new disbursement will support other activities including vaccine safety surveillance, training for health workers and advocacy & communications activities to encourage COVID-19 vaccine uptake.

“With the increased support for a rapid COVID-19 response, the World Bank is offering the government a flexible approach to select a portfolio of vaccines that best suits local capacities, timings of delivery, and vaccine approvals,” added Jane Chuma, World Bank Senior Health Economist.

Since the advent of the virus in March last year, WB has so far issued to loans to Kenya amounting to Ksh.26.5 billion including the latest Ksh.14 billion.

This is the World Bank’s second additional financing for Kenya’s COVID-19 Health Emergency Response Project and takes the multi-lateral lender contributions to Kenya’s COVID-19 response to a total of Ksh.26.5 billion (246 million).

The World Bank is also providing Ksh.1.3 trillion (US$.12 billion) to help low- and middle-income   countries purchase and distribute COVID-19 vaccines, tests, and treatments.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Bank Group has committed over Ksh.13.4 billion (US$.125 billion) worldwide to fight the health, economic, and social impacts of the pandemic, the fastest and largest crisis response in its history.

The financing is helping more than 100 countries strengthen pandemic preparedness, protect the poor and jobs, and jump start a climate-friendly recovery.

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Lawrence Baraza is a prolific writer with competencies in Digital Media, Print, and Broadcast. Baraza is also a Communication Practitioner currently spearheading Digital content on Metropol TV's Digital Desk.

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