The World Bank Board of Executive Directors has approved $130 million additional financing for the Kenya COVID-19 Health Emergency Response Project to facilitate affordable and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for Kenyans.
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. 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.
“This additional financing comes at a critical time when the Government of Kenya is making concerted efforts to contain the rising cases of COVID-19 infections and accelerate the deployment of vaccines to a wider population,” said Keith Hansen, World Bank Country Director for Kenya. “The upfront financing for the acquisition of COVID-19 vaccines will enable the government to expand access to more Kenyans free of cost.”
Other activities that will be funded include vaccine safety surveillance, training for health workers, and advocacy and communications activities to encourage COVID-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,” said Jane Chuma, World Bank Senior Health Economist
This is the second additional financing for the Kenya COVID-19 Health Emergency Response Project. Together with the $10 million triggered under the Contingency Emergency Response Component of the Transforming Health Systems for Universal Care Project, the World Bank’s contributions to Kenya’s COVID-19 response total $246 million.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Bank Group has committed 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 financing is helping more than 100 countries strengthen pandemic preparedness, protect the poor and jobs, and jump start a climate-friendly recovery. The World Bank is also providing $12 billion to help low- and middle-income countries purchase and distribute COVID-19 vaccines, tests, and treatments.