New World Bank Support to Enable Equitable Access to COVID-19 Vaccines in Senegal
WASHINGTON: The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved $134 million (half of the funds in grants), from the International Development Association (IDA) to enable safe, affordable, and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, and ensure effective vaccine deployment in Senegal. The Senegal COVID-19 Response Project will help further strengthen the vaccination system and national systems for public health preparedness.
According to Mr. Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr, Senegalese Minister of Health and Social Action, “this additional funding of $135 million will support the Government of Senegal’s efforts to procure vaccines to improve availability and increase geographic accessibility to populations. We welcome the World Bank’s response to the request for additional resources to further support the COVID-19 response.”
“Senegal has been considered a model in the management of the COVID-19 pandemic and this project will further reinforce the Government’s efforts providing the necessary financing to support the acquisition of vaccines and accelerating deployment efforts across the entire country,” said Nathan Belete, World Bank Country Director for Senegal. “We realize that this is a huge challenge but we believe that Senegal will succeed by engaging in an effective and inclusive communication campaign, as well as by ensuring the availability of vaccines in all health centers throughout the country,” he added.
Specifically, the project will contribute to vaccinate nearly 9,500,000 people – about 55% of the country’s population. This will include the deployment costs of vaccines fully subsidized by the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) Advanced Market Commitment (AMC) Facility for 20% of the population, as well as the purchase and deployment of vaccines for an additional 35% of the population through the COVAX Facility, direct from manufacturers and other mechanisms.
“The project will support a communications campaign which will be part of a broader social engagement and mobilization strategy to address vaccine hesitancy. The content will be tailored and targeted to specific priority groups to increase acceptance of the vaccine among the population”, indicated Djibrilla Karamoko, World Bank Task Team leader.
The World Bank was among the first development partners to offer support to the Government of Senegal in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which included technical assistance for the implementation of the National COVID-19 Emergency Response Plan. On April 2, 2020, the Senegal COVID-19 Response Project with an amount of $20 million, was approved under the Strategic Preparedness and Response Program. The country received also $4 million from the REDISSE 1, and $1.5 million from the Pandemic Emergency Facility. As of June 1, 2021, about 454,304 people have received at least their first dose of vaccine.
The World Bank, one of the largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries, is taking broad, fast action to help developing countries respond to the health, social and economic impacts of COVID-19. This includes $12 billion to help low- and middle-income countries purchase and distribute COVID-19 vaccines, tests, and treatments, and strengthen vaccination systems. The financing builds on the broader World Bank Group COVID-19 response, which is helping more than 100 countries strengthen health systems, support the poorest households, and create supportive conditions to maintain livelihoods and jobs for those hit hardest.