World Bank Approves $500 million in Additional Financing for Turkey’s COVID-19 Pandemic Response

WASHINGTON  – The World Bank’s Board approved today $500 million in additional financing for the Turkey Emergency COVID-19 Health Operation to support Turkey’s response to the health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This financing complements the original loan of $100 million, which was approved by the World Bank Board in April 2020 as part of the Bank’s COVID-19 Strategic Preparedness and Response Program. The additional financing scales-up the original loan to ensure access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines in Turkey and forms part of an expanded health response to the pandemic. An additional $250 million will be provided as co-financing from the Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank (AIIB). The project will help meet the cost of current and future vaccine purchases.

“Turkey’s Covid-19 national vaccination program was swiftly deployed by the authorities and has been one of the most successful and inclusive vaccination programs in response to the pandemic,” said Auguste Tano Kouame, World Bank Country Director for Turkey. “With this project the World Bank is very happy to be contributing to saving lives in Turkey.”

The project will be implemented by the Ministry of Health and consists of a sub-component under the parent project which will support the financing and acquisition of eligible COVID-19 vaccines and communication activities to improve awareness and reduce vaccine hesitancy.

“This project will allow the Government to refocus its financial capacities on activities and reforms that may have been adversely affected during the pandemic,” said Nadwa Rafeh, the Task Leader of the project. “The Government will be able to reinforce key reform activities currently underway, namely strengthening case management of non-communicable diseases through a network of healthy living centers and improving preparedness for public health threats and emergencies.”

The project is funded through an Investment Project Financing (IPF) instrument with a 10.5-year repayment period, including a 5-year grace period.

The World Bank Group, one of the largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries, has been taking broad, fast action to help developing countries strengthen their pandemic response. We are increasing disease surveillance, improving public health interventions, and helping the private sector continue to operate and sustain jobs.