AKIPRESS.COM - The World Bank on Wednesday pledged to boost available funding for COVID-19 vaccine purchases and deployment to $20 billion from a previous target of $12 billion, citing a sharp increase in overall financing demand from developing countries, Reuters reports.
World Bank President David Malpass said the global development bank had already provided more than $4 billion to 51 developing countries for the purchase and deployment of COVID-19 vaccines, and would add billions for 25 more countries soon.
"Much more will follow in coming weeks," Malpass told reporters, noting that a total of 41 requests had been received from African countries, where less than half the population has been vaccinated.
In a joint statement, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the World Health Organization urged G20 countries to embrace vaccinated population targets of at least 40% by the end of 2021 and 60% by the first half of 2022.
They also urged the G20 major economies, whose finance leaders meet next week in Italy, to adopt the goal of sharing at least 1 billion vaccine doses with developing countries this year, and to increase financing and eliminate trade barriers in the vaccine supply chain.