By: The Kabul Times
KABUL: The World Bank on Friday announced $60 million in aid from the International Development Association (IDA) to help the Afghan government purchase and deploy safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines and strengthen its national program to ensure quick and fair access to health services and vaccinations, the organization said in a statement.
The total additional financing of $113 million to Afghanistan’s COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness Project also includes a $50 million grant from the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF) and a $3 million grant from the Energy Sector Management Program (ESMAP).
The funding package will help vaccinate more than 17 percent of Afghans, improve essential medical services, and support Afghanistan’s recovery from the pandemic, the World Bank said in a statement.
“The World Bank has worked closely with the Afghan government and development partners to respond effectively to COVID-19, improve testing and treatment, and strengthen the country’s health system,” said Henry Kerali, World Bank Country Director for Afghanistan.
Afghanistan’s overall COVID-19 vaccination efforts include an agreement with COVAX to vaccinate 20 percent of Afghans and further support from the Asian Development Bank’ is expected to purchase vaccines for nearly 11 percent of the Afghan people. This together with the World Bank’s additional financing package will take Afghanistan’s vaccination coverage to almost half of the population, the statement said. Afghanistan so far has received 500,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from India and over 49,000 doses of COVAX from the European Union.