MONROVIA-The World Bank has approved Additional Financing to the Liberia COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness and Response Project to enable affordable and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. The financing, in the total amount of $8 million grant ($7 million International Development Association-IDA and $1 million Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Multi-Donor Trust), will support the purchase of vaccines and their deployment, reaching approximately 386,000 people. The resources will also help strengthen systems of vaccination programs more broadly and support other COVID-19 response activities.
“In the wake of a third Covid-19 wave that is more devastating than the first two, we believe that ramping up the vaccination program in Liberia, as in other countries, will be a game changer,” said Dr. Khwima Nthara, World Bank Country Manager in Liberia. “Hope people will take full advantage of this opportunity and get vaccinated to protect themselves and their loved ones,” He added.
Under the original project that was approved on April 9, 2020, the World Bank has supported Liberia purchase 10 ambulances, 20 ventilators, 120 motorcycles, diagnostic laboratory equipment, and also supported counties in implementing COVID-19 preventive measures. This Additional Financing has become necessary given the evidence from the west on impact of vaccines on disease transmission and bringing the COVID-19 situation back to normal. The Bank financed vaccines will contribute to increasing the number of Liberians covered by vaccines. The project will also support roll out of the vaccines to the last mile and including support to intervention started under the parent project, Liberia COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness and Response Project.
“The financing for Liberia comes at a time when there is a rise in new cases and full blown third wave making the need for vaccines as an added intervention more critical,” said Co-Task Team Leaders Noel Chisaka, Anthony Theophilus Seddoh and Opope Oyaka Tshivuila Matala.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Bank Group has committed over $125 billion 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. The Bank is also providing $12 billion to help low- and middle-income countries purchase and distribute COVID-19 vaccines, tests, and treatments.