Kenya secures fresh Sh14bn World Bank loan to boost vaccine roll out

Kenya will get Kes 14 billion financing from the World Bank to boost the ongoing war on the Covid-19 pandemic.

Approving the funds, the World Bank bosses said it will facilitate affordable and equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines in the country.

In a statement, the World Bank Director for Kenya Keith Hansen noted that the additional financing comes at a time the government is making efforts to contain the upsurge of new cases.

The funding is also expected to help in the deployment of the vaccines by boosting Kenya’s cold chain storage capacity including the establishment of 25 county vaccine stores, strengthening the capacity of 36 sub-county stores and equipping 1,117 health facilities with vaccine storage equipment.

“The upfront financing for the acquisition of Covid-19 vaccines will enable the government to expand access to more Kenyans free of cost,” he stated, adding that “this additional financing will enable Kenya to procure more vaccines via the African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT) initiative and the Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) facilities.

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“It will also support the deployment of those vaccines by boosting Kenya’s cold chain storage capacity, including establishing 25 county vaccine stores, strengthening the capacity of 36 sub-county stores, and equipping 1,177 health facilities with vaccine storage equipment.”

The new disbursement will also support vaccine safety surveillance, training for health workers and advocacy and communications to encourage Cobid-19 vaccine uptake.

“With the increased support for a rapid Covid-19 response, the World Bank is offering the government a flexible approach to select a portfolio of vaccines that best suits local capacities, timings of delivery, and vaccine approvals,” added Jane Chuma, the World Bank Senior Health Economist.

Since Covid-19 pandemic hit the globe, the World Bank Group has contributed Kes 26.5 billion to Kenya’s Covid-19 response team and remitted over $125 billion worldwide to fight the health, economic, and social impacts of the pandemic, the fastest and largest crisis response in its history.

The World Bank is also providing $12 billion to help low- and middle-income countries purchase and distribute Covid-19 vaccines, tests, and treatments.

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