WB to provide $500m for Covid-19 vaccine purchase

Staff Correspondent

13 April, 2021 12:00 AM printer

The World Bank will provide additional $500 million loan to Bangladesh to help purchase Covid-19 vaccines.

The funds are coming under "Covid- 19 Emergency Response and Pandemic Preparedness" project.

The government and the lender signed a loan agreement in this regard at Economic Relations Division (ERD) on Sunday.

ERD Secretary Fatima Yasmin, and WB Country Director Mercy Tembon, signed the agreement on behalf of the government and the World Bank respectively.

The project duration is from April 2020 to December 2023.

WB's additional financing for this project aims to ensure vaccination of 31 percent of the total population of the country through direct purchase of Covid-19 vaccine recognised by the World Health Organization (WHO) or three Stringent Regulatory Authorities or advance purchase from Covid-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility (COVAX), increasing capacity through the establishment of Vaccine Testing Lab (WHO maturity level-3) in the Directorate General of Drug Administration, and ensuring quality of vaccines by keeping the Cold Chain System intact in vaccine storage and distribution.

Earlier, the World Bank provided $100 million as loan assistance on April 10, 2020 under the "Covid-1 9 Emergency Response and Pandemic Preparedness" project.

Under this project, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has co-financed $100 million.

The IDA regular terms will be applicable for additional financing by the World Bank.

The loan is repayable in 30 years with a grace period of 5 years and the interest rate is 1.25 percent, service charge is 0.75 percent and commitment charge is 0.50 percent on the undisbursed amount.