The World Bank wants to help developing countries “finance the purchase and distribution of vaccines” when they become available.
The World Bank on Tuesday announced the approval of a 12 billion dollars (11 billion francs) aid plan to guarantee developing countries rapid access to vaccines when they become available.
This envelope will be used to “finance the purchase and distribution of vaccines, tests and Covid-19 treatments for their citizens,” said the Washington institution in a press release. According to her, this could make it possible to vaccinate “up to a billion people”. The announcement, made on the sidelines of the fall meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, comes as two clinical trials were suspended in 24 hours.
American pharmaceutical companies Johnson & Johnson and Eli Lilly on Monday and Tuesday suspended clinical trials, for the first of a vaccine and for the second of an experimental treatment against Covid-19, the time to assess possible effects secondary among participants, a new setback in the fight against the pandemic that is raging in the world. The World Bank intends, with this announcement, to send “the signal to the research and pharmaceutical industry that citizens of developing countries must also have access to safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines”.
It will also provide technical support to prepare countries for large-scale vaccine deployment, in coordination with international partners. This funding is part of a World Bank Group aid package of up to 160 billion dollars (146 billion francs) and extending until June 2021 to help developing countries fight against Covid-19 pandemic, also specified the Washington institution.
The approval by the Board of Directors of the World Bank was expected since the director of the institution David Malpass had himself unveiled this project at the end of September. He then believed that an “effective and safe” Covid-19 vaccine was fundamental for the world to reopen safely.
While vaccines are not yet on the market, he also noted in an interview with the French daily “Le Figaro”, the need to anticipate “because the process of distributing a vaccine is complex”.