Asian Development Bank launches $9 billion Covid-19 vaccine initiative for its membersThe support will include procurement and transport of vaccines as well as their distribution, delivery and administration, the bank says.
The Asian Development Bank has launched a $9 billion vaccine initiative offering rapid and equitable support to its developing country members, including Nepal, to procure and deliver effective and safe Covid-19 vaccines.
“As Asian Development Bank’s developing members prepare to vaccinate their people as soon as possible, they need financing to procure vaccines as well as appropriate plans and knowledge to be able to safely, equitably, and efficiently manage the vaccination process,” said bank’s President Masatsugu Asakawa in a press statement on Friday.
“The Asia Pacific Vaccine Access Facility will play a critical role in helping our developing members meet these challenges, overcome the pandemic, and focus on economic recovery,” the bank statement said.
The facility, the instrument of the bank for disbursing the fund has two components: the rapid response component will provide support for critical vaccine diagnostics, procurement of vaccines, and transporting vaccines while the project investment component will support investments in systems for successful distribution, delivery, and administration of vaccines along with associated investments in building capacity, community outreach, and surveillance.
More than 14.3 million positive cases have been identified in Asia and the Pacific, causing more than 200,000 deaths.
As the pandemic persists, economic growth in developing Asia is projected to contract by 0.4 percent in 2020—the first regional gross domestic product contraction since the early 1960s, the multilateral funding agency said in a press statement.
Nepal on Friday reported 11 more Covid-19-related fatalities, pushing the death toll to 1,674. The country also recorded 1,044 new cases.
The overall infection tally has reached 246,694 with 12,148 active cases so far.
According to the Ministry of Health and Population, 232,872 infected people have recovered from the disease so far—1,271 of them in the past 24 hours.
Nepal’s economy is projected to grow by only 0.6 percent in 2021, inching up from an estimated 0.2 percent in 2020 as lockdowns caused by Covid-19 disrupt economic activity, says the World Bank.
The Asian Development Bank financing for vaccines will be provided in close coordination with other development partners including the World Bank Group, World Health Organization (WHO), Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access Facility and bilateral and multilateral partners.
The bank said it is also making available a $500 million Vaccine Import Facility to support the efforts of its developing members to secure safe and effective vaccines, as well as the goods that support distribution and inoculation.
According to the bank in April approved a $20 billion package to support its developing members in addressing the impacts of the pandemic and has committed $14.9 billion in loans, grants, and technical assistance, including $9.9 billion in quick-disbursing budget support from the Covid-19 Pandemic Response Option and support for the private sector.
In November, the bank announced $20.3 million in additional technical assistance to establish systems to enable efficient and equitable distribution of vaccines across Asia and the Pacific.