The World Bank says it is planning to make available some $12 billion to poor and developing countries for the purchase and deployment of COVID-19 vaccines when one is eventually developed.
This, is according to President of the World Bank, David Malpass.
Speaking at the 2020 IMF/World Bank Annual Meetings Plenary, Mr Malpass noted that the Bank’s decision complements efforts already made to support health systems of some 111 countries.
“In the area of health, we established a fast-track COVID response that has delivered emergency support to 111 countries so far. Most projects are now in advanced stages of disbursement for the purchase of masks, emergency-room equipment, and other COVID-related supplies,” he stated.
“We are also helping developing countries with COVID vaccines and therapeutics. We plan to make available up to $12 billion to countries for the purchase and deployment of COVID-19 vaccines,” he added.
110 to 150 million people to fall into extreme poverty
Addressing the issue of poverty and inequality in the wake of the global pandemic, Mr Malpass noted that projections by the World Bank indicate that poverty is expected to rise in 2020 for the first time since 1998.
With some 110 to 150 million people being pushed into extreme poverty by 2021, with the extremely poor living on less than $1.90 a day.
According to him, catering for the millions pushed into poverty by the pandemic will cost the World Bank $70 billion every year.