The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved today additional financing for the Tajikistan Emergency COVID-19 Project in the amount of $8.63 million for the procurement and delivery of internationally approved COVID-19 vaccines.
“Low infection numbers today do not guarantee low infection numbers tomorrow—with the combination of continued personal responsibility and broadest possible vaccination representing the best hope for the ability to overcome the pandemic in Tajikistan and elsewhere,” said Jan-Peter Olters, World Bank Country Manager for Tajikistan. “This project allows the country to set up the vaccination program for priority population groups and prepare the relevant institutions for the roll-out towards broader immunization, once additional supply of COVID-19 vaccines becomes available.”
The COVID-19 vaccines will be provided through the Gavi-COVAX Advanced Market Commitment Global Financing Mechanism (for about 16 percent of the population) and through this project (4 percent). The procurement and delivery of vaccines will be undertaken by UNICEF. The Ministry of Health and Social Protection of the Population of Tajikistan (MoHSP) has identified the segments of the populations that will be included in the first stage of the vaccination program, including health and social care workers, people over 50 years of age, people with underlying health conditions, as well as teachers and employees of educational institutions.
The exact number of people to be vaccinated under this additional financing, and in collaboration with COVAX, will depend on final vaccine prices negotiated between COVAX and manufacturers. In addition to buying vaccine doses, the financing will cover costs related to the procurement, delivery, and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, ancillary supplies, and personal protection equipment (PPEs) for health workers, as well as support the strengthening of the national immunization system and management capacity.
The additional financing is provided under the ongoing Tajikistan Emergency COVID-19 Project with a total funding of $11.3 million, approved in April 2020 to support Tajikistan’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. So far, the project has allowed to strengthen Intensive Care Units in 10 hospitals across the country by providing equipment, medical supplies, PPEs, training for the medical staff and small rehabilitation works.
The Government of Tajikistan, through a contract with the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), procured and installed the equipment despite substantial global shortages and market disruptions. In addition, the parent project has provided one-time cash transfers to over 65,000 poor households with young children to compensate for the worst effects from food price shocks caused by the pandemic.
The transfers are delivered using an emergency module of the existing Targeted Social Assistance (TSA) system. Through the project’s collaboration with UNICEF, the beneficiary households also received important information on optimal child nutrition, stimulation, and parenting practices to help children stay healthy and grow to their full potential, despite the challenges caused by the pandemic. The project is also providing critical support to strengthen the capacity of the MoHSP in public outreach and communications on the COVID-19 pandemic.
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.