The Kyrgyz Republic’s COVID-19 Vaccination Rollout Gets Boost with $20 million in World Bank Financing

WASHINGTON: The Kyrgyz Republic will boost its COVID-19 response by acquiring and deploying safe and effective vaccines, and strengthening health systems necessary for deployment, thanks to $20 million in Additional Financing from the World Bank.

The Additional Financing complements the $12.15 million Kyrgyz Republic Emergency COVID-19 Project and is provided on highly concessional terms through the International Development Association (IDA). Half of the funding will be allocated in the form of a grant, which requires no repayment, while the other half is a credit with a 0.75% administrative fee, with repayments spread out over 38 years, and a six-year grace period.

“The Kyrgyz Republic has been hard hit by COVID-19, and vaccines are critical to controlling the pandemic, saving lives, and reopening the economy,” said Naveed Hassan Naqvi, World Bank Country Manager for the Kyrgyz Republic. “The World Bank continues to stand by the people of the Kyrgyz Republic, in collaboration with other development partners, to assist the country in its post-pandemic economic recovery efforts. This additional financing will support the Government in putting the country back on track toward inclusive and sustainable growth.”

The Government of the Kyrgyz Republic aims to procure and deploy COVID-19 vaccines free of charge to cover 45 percent of its population. The country will receive vaccines for 20 percent of the population through the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) Advanced Market Commitment facility. The World Bank financing will enable affordable and equitable access to vaccines for an additional eight percent of the population, starting with priority groups, such as health professionals, social and education sector workers, the elderly, and persons with chronic health conditions.

The availability and terms of vaccines remain fluid, hindering firm planning of vaccine deployment, especially since the delivery of vaccines is unlikely to be immediate. “The project therefore enables an approach that can be adjusted during implementation in response to developments in the country’s pandemic situation and the global market for vaccines,” said World Bank Senior Economist and Task Team Leader of the project, Christel Vermeersch, who also noted that the project will procure vaccines that meet the stringent eligibility criteria of the World Bank, which are aligned with World Health Organization (WHO) criteria.

In addition to vaccine access, the World Bank’s financing will strengthen the health system’s capacity to implement the COVID-19 vaccination effort. These investments will also have a positive long-term spillover effect on other immunization programs in the Kyrgyz Republic.

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