World Bank approves $ 153 million to support vaccination campaign
ISLAMABAD: The World Bank Board of Directors approved the restructuring of the Pakistan Pandemic Response Effectiveness (PREP) project, initially approved in April 2020, to redeploy $ 153 million to support the national campaign vaccination program underway in Pakistan.
These funds, redeployed at the request of the federal government, will help finance the purchase and deployment of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines that meet the World Bank’s eligibility criteria, the Bank said. The project will strengthen the capacity of the health system to implement the vaccination campaign for its priority and eligible populations. “The third wave of COVID-19 appeared in Pakistan in March 2021 and threatens the lives and livelihoods of millions of people,” said Najy Benhassine, World Bank Country Director for Pakistan.
“The World Bank remains a committed partner to help Pakistan deal with this public health crisis, including through vaccination, and to provide support to address the social and economic impacts of the pandemic.”
According to project documents, the development objective of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic Response Efficiency Project was to prepare and respond to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic in Pakistan and strengthen national public health preparedness systems.
This project consisted of four components:
(1) The first component, COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Emergency Preparedness and Response, aims to slow and limit as much as possible the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in the country. It includes the following sub-components: (i) Prevention; (ii) Detection; and (iii) response.
(2) The second component, Mitigation of disruptive impacts, aims to address the significant negative externalities expected in the event of a generalized epidemic of COVID19 (coronavirus) by using different safety net mechanisms depending on the extent of the disruption. It includes the following sub-components: (i) emergency social safety net; and (ii) mitigation of impacts on education.
(3) The third component, Management of implementation and monitoring and evaluation, supports the implementation, coordination and management of projects, including support for financial management, procurement, environment and social, monitoring and evaluation of prevention and preparedness, capacity building for clinical and public health research, joint learning across and within the country, gender and vulnerability analysis of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak and third-party monitoring of progress and after-action reviews.
(4) The fourth component, the emergency response component, allows flexibility to respond to the dynamics of the pandemic as it evolves during the life of the project.
The Ministry of Regulation and Coordination of National Health Services, the National Disaster Management Authority, the Benazir Income Support Program and the Ministry of Federal Education and Vocational Training are the agencies of execution of the project, while the total commitment was $ 200 million from the International Development Association (IDA). The project closing date was June 30, 2023.
The implementation of the project would have been delayed due to the wait for the PC-I. In accordance with the instructions of the Economic Affairs Division, federal and provincial PC-Is were prepared for the health component of the project. However, due to a significant delay in their approval process, implementation was on a hiatus.
In addition to this funding for vaccines in Pakistan, the World Bank has provided a total of $ 768.5 million to support vaccine procurement and deployment efforts in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
In addition to financing, the Bank offers technical assistance and knowledge sharing workshops to countries in South Asia on different aspects of the design and deployment of fair and equitable vaccine strategies.
According to the Bank statement, the World Bank, one of the largest sources of finance and knowledge for developing countries, is taking broad and swift action to help developing countries respond to 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 treatment, and strengthen immunization systems. The funding builds on the World Bank Group’s broader response to COVID-19, which is helping more than 100 countries strengthen health systems, support the poorest households, and create enabling conditions to maintain livelihoods and jobs of the hardest hit.
Corporate Copyright Recorder, 2021