The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Friday launched a $9 billion initiative that will help its developing member economies to procure and deliver coronavirus vaccines.
Called the Asia Pacific Vaccine Access Facility (APVAX), it will offer “rapid and equitable support” to its developing members as they procure and deliver effective and safe coronavirus vaccines, it said in an official release.
The $9billion coronavirus scheme, structured as a credit facility, will support Asian developing countries’ efforts to procure vaccines against the deadly virus rapidly as well as their investments in vaccine production and distribution systems.
“As ADB’s developing members prepare to vaccinate their people as soon as possible, they need financing to procure vaccines as well as appropriate plans and knowledge to be able to safely, equitably, and efficiently manage the vaccination process,” ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa said.
The ADB President said it had received informal requests for support from south-east Asian countries like Indonesia and the Philippines, which has the highest number of Covid-19 cases.
Masatsugu Asakawa further added that “APVAX will play a critical role in helping our developing members meet these challenges, overcome the pandemic, and focus on economic recovery.”
The Asian Development Bank also told a news publication that it was making available a Covid-19 vaccine import facility to help countries secure safe and effective vaccines.
The ADB said the parts covered by its facility include cold-chain storage and transport, vehicles, distribution infrastructure, and also processing facilities.
ADB also said that more than 14.3 million confirmed cases of coronavirus and over 200,000 fatalities have been recorded in Asia and the Pacific.
With agency inputs