MANILA - The World Bank has approved a $300 million loan to help the Philippines scale up its vaccination program, the multilateral lender said on Wednesday.
The new funding also aims to strengthen the country’s health systems, and overcome the impact of the pandemic especially on the poor and the most vulnerable, the World Bank said.
“Fair, broad, and fast access to effective and safe COVID-19 vaccines is vital to save lives and strengthen economic recovery,” said Ndiamé Diop, World Bank Country Director for Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand.
Djop said the funding aims to help the country to safely reopen the economy and resume economic and social development activities, including face-to-face learning, that were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Approximately 27 million vaccine doses will be provided, subject to regulatory approvals and data on safety, through the new loan.
It will also finance primary doses for children under 12 in support of the country’s efforts to safely reopen schools.
Diop added that this new lending operation will also help the country’s efforts to address emerging variants like Omicron.
The loan is on top of the World Bank’s earlier $100 million funding approved in April 2020 to help the country meet urgent healthcare needs amid the pandemic, and the $500 million approved in March 2021 to finance the initial roll-out of the vaccination program.