BREAKING NEWS – World Bank approved R7.6 billion loan to South Africa.
The World Bank has approved a loan of EUR 454.4 million (EUR 7.6 billion) to South Africa for the country’s Covid-19 Emergency Response Project.
The loan, approved Monday by the Bank’s Group Governing Council, comes in response to a request from the government of South Africa for help financing contracts to purchase vaccines.
In a joint statement from the World Bank and the National Treasury, the entities said this project will retroactively fund GoSA’s procurement of 47 million Covid-19 vaccine doses.
They said: “South Africa is the epicenter of the Covid-19 pandemic in Africa, with the highest cumulative number of infections and deaths. By supporting the country’s Covid-19 vaccination program, the project will help the government better cope with the pandemic as the country moves through the fifth wave, and support the GoSA to create the fiscal space it needs to health system and provide financial and institutional safeguards. durability”.
The country’s robust vaccination program has delivered 36.4 million doses, with approximately 50.3% of adults and 29.9% of 12- to 17-year-old adolescents vaccinated as of June 13.
However, they said more can be done to increase vaccination coverage, contain the spread of the virus and boost the country’s economic recovery.
Along with the Genomic Surveillance Project, the Covid-19 Emergency Response Project is part of the World Bank’s comprehensive support for South Africa’s response to the pandemic.
Surveillance Project aims to improve the capacity to identify variants of SARS-CoV-2 in South Africa and the African region.
The government welcomed the loan’s approval and said it would support Covid-19 vaccination as the spread of the virus continues to threaten South Africa’s citizens, health system and economic recovery.
Treasury said the loan is part of the government’s efforts to reduce the cost of debt service by leveraging cheaper sources of financing through multilateral development banks, while supporting the health system to respond to Covid-19 through the rollout of vaccines. critical examination and treatment measures,” said Ismail Momoniat, acting director general of the National Treasury.
This new low-interest loan not only provides essential support to South Africa’s health system, but also contributes to the government’s fiscal support package and strengthens South Africa’s decisions on how best to support the economy and those who need it. hardest hit by the crisis.
The loan will complement support from the International Monetary Fund, the African Development Bank and the New Development Bank as part of South Africa’s broader financing strategy to access external financing from international financial institutions.
By May 16, 2022, the World Bank Group’s Covid-19 Response had committed $20 billion to support vaccine procurement and deployment, enabling affordable and equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines to address the vast health, social and economic reverse the impact of the pandemic.
The funding will help 96 operations (including MPA Vaccine operations) in 73 countries, more than half of which are in Africa, by supporting countries’ vaccination programs.
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