JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has launched a US$9 billion’ Asia Pacific Vaccine Access Facility (APVAX), an offering rapid and equitable support to its developing members. The agency said, the facility aimed to procure and deliver effective and safe COVID-19 vaccines.
The President, Masatsugu Asakawa, said the APVAX will play a critical role in helping the developing members meet these challenges, overcome the pandemic, and focus on economic recovery. He adds, more than 14.3 million positive cases have been identified in Asia and the Pacific, causing more than 200,000 deaths.
He continued, promoting safe, equitable, and effective access to vaccines is a top priority for ADB’ COVID-19 response efforts. ADB financing for vaccines will be provided in close coordination with other development partners including the World Bank Group, World Health Organization, COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access Facility (COVAX), GAVI, and bilateral and multilateral partners.
The Fund is also making available a $500 million vaccine import facility to support the efforts of its developing members to secure safe and effective vaccines, as well as the goods that support distribution and inoculation. The facility is part of the Fund’ trade and supply chain finance program.
The AAA-guarantees available through the program’s vaccine import facility will mitigate payment risks and facilitate import of these goods. This will employ the same eligibility criteria on vaccines as COVAX. Co-financing with private sector partners could result in the import facility supporting $1 billion in vaccine and related imports within a year.
In April, ADB approved a $20 billion package to support its developing members in addressing the impacts of the pandemic and streamlined some procedures to deliver quicker and more flexible assistance. The agency has committed $14.9 billion in loans, grants, and technical assistance, including $9.9 billion in quick-disbursing budget support from the COVID-19 Pandemic Response Option and support for the private sector.
In November, ADB announced $20.3 million in additional technical assistance to establish systems to enable efficient and equitable distribution of vaccines across Asia and the Pacific. As the pandemic persists, economic growth in developing Asia is projected to contract by 0.4 percent in 2020, the first regional gross domestic product contraction since the early 1960s.
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