To cope with the second wave of contamination and the discovery of a variant of the coronavirus, the African Union has begun the process of receiving around 670 million doses of vaccine, which requires substantial funding.
African countries will benefit from $12 billion in funding from the World Bank to carry out programmes to vaccinate populations against the coronavirus. This was announced by the South African presidency on Saturday, January 30, in a press release published on its official website.
The announcement follows an online conference on Wednesday 27 January organised by the current chairman of the African Union (AU), Cyril Ramaphosa, on managing the financing and deployment of the covid-19 vaccine in Africa. During the meeting, the chairman recalled the importance of the various vaccination campaigns especially in the context of a second wave that has brought the number of infections on the continent to more than 3.5 million cases and 88,993 deaths.
To help African countries obtain the vaccines, the World Bank has announced that it will provide funding in the form of grants or concessional loans. During his speech, David Malpass, president of the World Bank Group, urged member states to reach out to regional officials to get the help needed to make the vaccine available as soon as possible.
He said the institution is encouraging « countries that have not yet requested its assistance to send a letter to their World Bank country director requesting support for vaccine purchase and deployment under the $12 billion facility.
According to the African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), the estimated cost of vaccinating 60% of Africa’s population is between $10 billion and $15 billion. As a result of negotiations, the AU has obtained 270 million doses of vaccine and is waiting to receive 400 million more doses.
Regarding the vaccine deployment policy, the meeting participants stressed the need to put in place a system for the efficient distribution of vaccines to African countries and for raising awareness and informing the population. According to the communiqué, « the participants in the webinar decided to act quickly to achieve the immediate objective of ensuring that all African states have access to the vaccine and can vaccinate their populations ».