KATMANDOU, April 2, 2021 – The Government of Nepal and the World Bank today signed an agreement for additional funding of $ 75 million to support access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines for priority populations in Nepal.
The agreement was signed by Finance Secretary Sishir Kumar Dhungana on behalf of the Government of Nepal and World Bank Country Director for Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka Faris Hadad-Zervos.
“The additional funding is an important and timely support to the government’s comprehensive plans to immunize at least 72 percent of the Nepalese population,” declared Sishir Kumar Dhungana, Secretary of Finance. “It supports the government’s health response to the pandemic, supporting the purchase of COVID-19 vaccines as well as strengthening health systems for their effective deployment in accordance with the national deployment and vaccination plan. “
The additional funding builds on the $ 29 million for the COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness Project which was signed in April 2020. The project will be implemented under the leadership of the Ministry of Health and Population by the Directorate of Health Services and associated institutional bodies.
About 90 percent of the additional funding will support the purchase, supply and distribution of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines. The rest of the funding will support existing public health measures to test, trace and treat COVID-19 infection through a strengthened health system; community engagement and risk communication to improve demand and use of COVID-19 vaccines; and project implementation, monitoring and evaluation, and learning.
“Equitable and timely access to effective and safe COVID-19 vaccines is essential to save lives and support a resilient recovery from the pandemic” declared Faris Hadad-Zervos, World Bank Country Director for Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka. “The World Bank is committed to supporting the government’s response to the pandemic to protect lives, strengthen public health preparedness systems and boost economic recovery in Nepal.”
The world Bank, one of the most important sources of finance and knowledge for developing countries, takes wide and fast action to help developing countries respond to the health, social and economic impacts of COVID-19. This includes $ 12 billion to help low- and middle-income countries purchase and distribute COVID-19 vaccines, tests and treatment, and strengthen immunization systems. Funding is based on all World Bank Group COVID-19 Response, which helps more than 100 countries strengthen their health systems, support the poorest households and create favorable conditions to maintain the livelihoods and jobs of those hardest hit.