Do not wait for free vaccines, we will help you: World Bank to Nepal

KATHMANDU: The World Bank has committed financial assistance to Nepal for the purchase of vaccines against COVID-19. In a virtual press conference, Faris Hadad-Zervos, World Bank Country Manager for Nepal, said that Nepal should not wait for the vaccine to be provided as a grant.

Director Zervos also said that the COVAX facility should purchase vaccines to be distributed through the second window program. The World Bank had earlier committed financial support for the purchase of vaccines from the US company Johnson & Johnson.

Director Faris said there should be no delay in bringing the COVID vaccine just because of monetary concerns. “The World Bank has provided 100 million dollars to Nepal for the purchase of COVID vaccines,” he said, adding that an additional 160 million would be provided through the Asian Development Bank.

He said that the bank was even ready to provide 260 million dollars which might be needed by Nepal for the purchase of vaccines. “Money is not the issue,” he said. “The issue is how Nepal will plan to vaccinate all its population.”

Forty-four million doses of vaccines are needed to vaccinate about  72% i.e. 30 million of Nepal’s population. The 13 million COVID vaccine doses committed by COVAX to Nepal will cover the vaccination of 20% of Nepal’s population.

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