ISLAMABAD: The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has approved the restructuring of the Pandemic Response Effectiveness in Pakistan (PREP) project, originally approved in April 2020, to redeploy $153 million to support the ongoing national vaccine drive in Pakistan.
These funds, redeployed at the request of the federal government, will help finance the purchase and deployment of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines that meet the eligibility criteria of the World Bank. The project will strengthen the health system’s capacity to implement the vaccination campaign for its prioritized and eligible populations.
“The third wave of COVID-19 emerged in Pakistan in March 2021 and is threatening the lives and livelihoods of millions of people,” said Najy Benhassine, World Bank Country Director for Pakistan in a statement.
“The World Bank remains a committed partner to support Pakistan in addressing this public health crisis, including through vaccination, and providing support to tackle the social and economic impacts of the pandemic.”
In addition to this financing for vaccines in Pakistan, the World Bank has provided a total of $768.5 million to support the vaccination purchase and rollout efforts in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka. In addition to financing, the Bank is providing technical assistance and knowledge-sharing workshops for countries in South Asia on different aspects of designing and deploying fair and equitable vaccine strategies.
Pakistan has been a member of the World Bank since 1950. Since then, the World Bank has provided $40 billion in assistance. The World Bank’s program in Pakistan is governed by the Country Partnership Strategy for FY2015-2020 with four priority areas of engagement: energy, private sector development, inclusion, and service delivery.
The current portfolio has 57 projects and a total commitment of $13 billion.