Vaccine Procurement: Govt seeks $500 million from Japan | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 18, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:50 AM, October 18, 2020

Vaccine Procurement: Govt seeks $500 million from Japan

The government has sought financial support of $500 million from Japan for the procurement of Covid-19 vaccine.

The Economic Relations Division (ERD) yesterday sent a letter to Embassy of Japan in Dhaka in this regard.

The letter was sent as per the demand of the health ministry, which informed the ERD about the estimated cost of vaccine procurement and to seek necessary funds from development partners.

A senior ERD official said a meeting was held to categorise potential development partners to seek funds from.

He said they have already contacted different partners informing them about Bangladesh's need for funds, adding that they will also seek funds from Asian Development Bank and World Bank.

The ERD wrote that to bring the entire population under the coverage of vaccination, it is estimated that if each person needs two doses of vaccine that costs $10-12 per person, the cost for covering a population of 165 million will be around $ 1.65 billion to $2 billion.

The letter to the Embassy of Japan read that under the circumstances stated above, the government of Bangladesh would like to request the Government of Japan to provide $500 million as assistance for the procurement of vaccines.

Meanwhile, Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Bangladesh government signed an agreement for a $3 million grant for the procurement of urgent medical supplies.

Besides, the ERD will seek an extra $350 million from ADB to purchase the vaccine.

Similarly, ERD will also seek financial support of around $1 billion from World Bank.

According to ERD letter sent to development partners, the Covid-19 is taking its toll on human lives and economies globally and is showing no sign of respite any time soon.

So, it is imperative to restrain the outbreak of the novel coronavirus for protecting both the lives of people and the economy, the letter read.

The financial support is being sought as the vaccine will likely be available in the market within a short of time.

A large-scale commercial production of the vaccine is expected by the end of this year. In this context, a major initiative has been initiated to import vaccines into Bangladesh in order to make it available for all the citizens.

 

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