ADB to give $940m loan for Covid-19 vaccines
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) today signed agreements with Bangladesh to give $940 million in loans to purchase safe and effective vaccines against Covid-19.
"This is our single largest support for vaccine procurement till now, and ADB is committed to help the government of Bangladesh in procuring quality and affordable vaccines early," said Manmohan Parkash, country director of the ADB.
"Safe and effective mass vaccination is critical for protecting lives and livelihoods, and ensuring quick socio-economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic."
"Vaccines can reduce virus transmission and infection, and curtail mortality, contributing to saving lives and alleviating pressures on the health system," he said.
Parkash spoke after signing loan agreements with Fatima Yasmin, secretary of the Economic Relations Division (ERD), at a simple ceremony at the ERD in Dhaka.
The package, which comprises a regular loan and a concessional loan of $470 million each, is part of ADB's $9 billion Asia Pacific Vaccine Access Facility launched in December 2020 to offer rapid and equitable vaccine-related support to ADB's developing member countries.
The project will fund the purchase of an estimated 44.7 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines to be administered to more than 20 million Bangladeshis by 2024, contributing to the government's National Deployment and Vaccination Plan for Covid-19 Vaccines.
The vaccines will be secured through the Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) program, the United Nations Children's Fund, or bilateral arrangements with vaccine manufacturers or distributors.
Vaccines eligible for financing must meet at least one of the APVAX eligibility criteria: the vaccine has been selected for procurement through the COVAX mechanism; the vaccine has been prequalified by the World Health Organization or WHO emergency use listing; or the vaccine has received regular or emergency licensure or authorization by a Stringent Regulatory Authority.
"In addition to vaccine procurement, we are also pleased to help improve the vaccine registration, delivery, distribution, monitoring, coordination, and management systems," Parkash said.
"The assistance follows our reoriented programme priorities in supporting a quick socio-economic recovery in Bangladesh."
ADB is helping the government strengthen its vaccine delivery system and fight against Covid-19 through ongoing technical assistance projects worth around 7 million.