OVER 8 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines are set to arrive in the country by December 2021, according to the World Bank.
The Washington-based lender said to date, 4.73 million doses of the 13 million doses procured under the $500 million Covid-19 Emergency Response Project Additional Financing have arrived in the country.
“The World Bank is pleased to contribute to the Philippines’s national Covid-19 vaccination effort so that more Filipinos are protected against Covid-19, can resume normal lives, and the country can rebuild the economy faster, restore jobs and incomes, and ensure its resilient recovery,” said Ndiame Diop, World Bank Country Director for Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand.
Approved in March, the Additional Financing was designed to support the Philippine government’s program to purchase and distribute Covid-19 vaccines, strengthen the country’s health systems, and overcome the impact of the pandemic especially on the poor and the most vulnerable.
In addition to the purchase of vaccines, the additional financing also financed the Philippines’s efforts to implement public health measures including increasing testing and improving isolation capacity.
This financing builds upon the initial ongoing Philippines Covid-19 Emergency Response Project approved in April 2020 and implemented by the Department of Health (DOH).
The project provides funding for the purchase of laboratory equipment and test kits, and ambulances as well as medical equipment and supplies such as mechanical ventilators, portable x-ray machines, and infusion pumps.
The financing has also been used to refurbish isolation rooms and quarantine facilities for Covid-19 patients.
Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the World Bank Group has deployed over $157 billion to fight the health, economic, and social impacts of the pandemic, considered as the bank’s 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.
The Bank is also supporting over 50 low- and middle-income countries, more than half of which are in Africa, with the purchase and deployment of Covid-19 vaccines and is making available $20 billion in financing for this purpose until the end of 2022.