Tajikistan’s COVID-19 Response to Benefit from Additional World Bank Support

A grant of $25 million will support procurement and provision of vaccines against COVID-19

WASHINGTON – The World Bank approved additional grant financing of $25 million to the Tajikistan Emergency COVID-19 Project, which is supporting Tajikistan’s efforts to respond to the health, social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The broadest possible vaccination, combined with other measures, will be critical for Tajikistan’s post-pandemic recovery and growth,” said Ozan Sevimli, World Bank Country Manager to Tajikistan. “Continued investments in vaccination against COVID-19 are a priority for the World Bank, as this is a prerequisite and an essential step towards building a more inclusive, sustainable and resilient economy in Tajikistan.”

According to Tajikistan’s national vaccine rollout plan, all adults above the age of 18 (5.8 million people or 62% of the total population) are eligible for COVID-19 vaccination. Currently, the country has enough vaccines to cover approximately 56% of the target population. The additional financing will help Tajikistan close its COVID-19 vaccine gap and meet its national vaccination target of 62% of the population in 2022. The vaccines will be procured through the UNICEF Supply Division and purchased at low prices negotiated by COVAX with vaccine producers.

The additional financing will also cover the cost of vaccine delivery, distribution within Tajikistan, the cost of key consumables (needles, syringes, safety boxes), expansion of the electronic vaccine and COVID-19 testing registration system as well as printing of vaccine certificates. It will also help procure COVID-19 tests, additional PPE, and supplies such as medications and consumables for hospitals for COVID-19 patients. In addition, authorities will be able to expand their communication activities to address vaccine hesitancy and misinformation related to the pandemic.

The original Tajikistan Emergency COVID-19 Project, with a total financing of $11.3 million, was approved in April 2020 and in February 2021 the World Bank approved additional $21.2 million for the project. These resources helped strengthen Intensive Care Units in 10 hospitals across the country through equipment, medical supplies, personal protective equipment, and small rehabilitation works. The necessary investments are being made to improve oxygen supply in 15 hospitals across Tajikistan to help severely ill COVID-19 patients and other patients to receive life-saving oxygen therapy. As part of the program, a one-time emergency cash assistance was provided to over 164,000 poor households across the country to mitigate the impacts of food price shocks caused by the pandemic. In addition, 650,400 doses of the Moderna vaccines were procured through COVAX (to be delivered in early 2022) and important investments were made to prepare the country for the broader vaccine rollout. The project also provided one-time emergency support to fill a budget gap for procuring vaccines for measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) for children. The project continues to provide critical support to strengthen national capacity on COVID-19 communication and public outreach, with 50 journalists and over 490 community volunteers trained so far.