The World Bank and the African Union (AU) have announced that they are joining forces to support the African Vaccine Procurement Task Force (AVATT), with resources that will help countries buy vaccines for the benefit of 400 million people. and will enable deployment. AU aims to vaccinate 60% of the continent’s population by 2022.
This extraordinary regional effort will complement the COVAX mechanism and comes at a time when Africa is experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases. Thus World Bank funding will facilitate procurement and deployment of supplements received under AVATT.
“The World Bank is very pleased to help African countries through this partnership with the African Union that will quickly distribute hundreds of millions of doses,” Indicates World Bank Group President David Malpass. By working together, we can accelerate the delivery of doses to countries and support their deployment. Countries urgently need to access vaccines through more procurement channels that match their needs and ensure faster distribution schedules. “
“Thanks to this joint initiative between the World Bank and African institutions such as the African Import-Export Bank (‘Afriximbank) and the African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), we now have the capacity to vaccinate at least 400 million vaccines. people, or 30% of our region’s 1.3 billion residents, declares Strive Masiwa, Special Envoy of the African Union and AVATT Coordinator. We salute the extraordinary collaboration built around this initiative between President Cyril Ramaphosa, AU Champion for Access to Vaccines, and David Malpass, President of the World Bank. “
The World Bank has provided $12 billion in funding to help countries purchase and distribute vaccines as well as prepare for vaccine campaigns. The World Bank has already given the green light to operations in 36 countries to support vaccination efforts.
By the end of June, it plans to increase this figure to 50 countries, two-thirds of which are in Africa. The World Bank works closely with regional institutions such as the African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), the West African Health Organization (WAHO) and the African Union Commission to improve surveillance, preparedness and cross-border cooperation in the case of emergencies. Can go response in the event of a pandemic.
World Bank-funded vaccination operations enable countries to purchase vaccines through the COVAX mechanism, regional initiatives and bilateral procurement from manufacturers.
Thus, the bank has worked closely with AVATT to ensure that African countries can also access their funding under this initiative.
A joint initiative of the AU Commission, Africa CDCs, Afreximbank, AU’s Special Envoy for COVID-19 and the United Nations Economic Commission (ECA) for Africa, AVATT aims to ensure adequate and rapid access to COVID-19 vaccines on the continent is.
It has successfully negotiated the delivery of 220 million doses of Janssen Vaccine with Johnson & Johnson, with the potential to order an additional 180 million doses based on demand. AVATT works closely with African finance ministers to achieve collective immunity that will fully reopen the continent’s economies.
“One of the essential priorities of this initiative is to ensure that procurement of vaccines effectively results in immunization of the population”, pay attention Vera Songwe, Executive Secretary of the ECA.
Funding and technical assistance provided by the World Bank are helping countries ensure efficient deployment of vaccines, particularly by increasing storage capacity and developing cold chains, training health workers and addressing vaccine reluctance among citizens. and by focusing on encouraging community participation.
In addition to the current emergency, it will be necessary to establish resilient health systems in Africa that can respond to future pandemics.
In addition, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, is leading a consortium to support regional vaccine production in Africa. Investment projects in South Africa, Senegal and Rwanda are in an advanced stage of preparation.