The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved on Friday restructuring of the Pandemic Response Effectiveness in Pakistan (PREP) project, originally approved in April 2020, to redeploy $153 million to support the ongoing vaccination drive in the country.
The fund, redeployed at the request of the federal government, will help finance purchase of safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines that meet the World Bank’s eligibility criteria. The project will strengthen the health system’s capacity to implement the vaccination campaign.
“The third wave of Covid19 emerged in Pakistan in March 2021 and is threatening the lives and livelihoods of millions of people,” said Najy Benhassine, World Bank Country Director for Pakistan, in a statement. “The World Bank remains a committed partner to support Pakistan in addressing this public health crisis, including through vaccination, and providing support to tackle the social and economic impacts of the pandemic.”
The World Bank has also provided a total of $768.5 million to support vaccination purchases and rollout efforts in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Apart from funding, the bank is providing technical assistance and knowledge-sharing workshops for countries in South Asia on different aspects of designing and deploying fair and equitable vaccine strategies.