PHILIPPINES: World Bank Approves Additional Funding for More Vaccines

WASHINGTON – The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved US$300 million of additional financing for the Philippine’s efforts to scale up national vaccination, strengthen the country’s health systems, and overcome the impact of the pandemic especially on the poor and the most vulnerable.

The Philippines COVID-19 Emergency Response Project – Additional Financing 2 (PCERP-AF2) will cover procurement and delivery of doses to individuals aged 12-17; additional doses, as part of primary vaccination series, for at-risk population sub-groups, including immunocompromised individuals and senior citizens, who were not fully protected with the initial two dose or single dose regimens; and booster doses for health workers and the wider population.

“Fair, broad, and fast access to effective and safe COVID-19 vaccines is vital to save lives and strengthen economic recovery,” said Ndiamé Diop, World Bank Country Director for Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand. “This funding operation is critical for the country to safely reopen the economy and resume economic and social development activities, including face-to-face learning, that were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Expected to provide approximately 27 million vaccine doses, subject to regulatory approvals and data on safety, this new loan will also finance primary doses for children under 12 in support of the country’s efforts to safely reopen schools.

Diop added that this new lending operation will also help the country’s efforts to address emerging variants like Omicron.

Global vaccine supply market remains supplier-driven with many uncertainties for low- and middle-income countries. Hence, negotiating supply agreements with suppliers ahead of the country’s planned vaccination scale up in 2022 is a step in the right direction, Diop added.

The funding builds on the World Bank’s earlier funding US$100 million approved in April 2020 to help the country meet urgent healthcare needs to address the pandemic and bolster the country’s public health preparedness, and US$500 million approved in March 2021 to finance the initial roll-out of the vaccination program.

World Bank Group Response to COVID-19

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Bank Group has deployed over $157 billion to fight the health, economic, and social impacts of the pandemic, the fastest and largest crisis response in its history. The financing is helping more than 100 countries strengthen pandemic preparedness, protect the poor and jobs, and jump start a climate-friendly recovery. The Bank is also supporting over 50 low- and middle-income countries, more than half of which are in Africa, with the purchase and deployment of COVID-19 vaccines, and is making available $20 billion in financing for this purpose until the end of 2022.