Pakistan to seek $153m from WB for Covid-19 vaccine purchase

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has decided to contact the World Bank (WB) for Covid-19 vaccine funding.

According to the people familiar with the matter, Pakistan will seek $153 million from the WB for advance purchases of the Covid-19 vaccines. The request will be formally made by the Economic Coordination Division, said sources.

In this context, the health ministry has penned a letter to the Economic Coordination Division, advising it to seek funds from the WB for advance purchases of the coronavirus vaccines.

The funds will be requested under Credit Funding Act 6590.

The letter further said that initial talks have been done with the World Bank for the funds via video link.

After the approval of the grant from the WB, Pakistan will purchase the Covid-19 vaccines in advance for its citizens, said sources.

Pakistan is also in direct contact with the Covid-19 vaccine producer firms and also using GAVI platform for the anti-covid vaccines.

It is to be noted that the ECC has already approved a supplementary grant for the advance purchases of the vaccines.

Pakistan has planned to vaccinate health workers and senior citizens in the first phase in a bid to save them from the deadly pandemic.

Earlier on Friday, Prime Minister Imran Khan proposed a ten-point agenda to the world community to avert economic collapse in the developing countries due to Covid-19. Addressing a special session of the UN General Assembly, he called for debt suspension till the end of the pandemic for low income and most stressed countries; cancellation of debt of least developed countries; restructuring of the public sector debt of developing countries and a general allocation of special drawing rights of $500 billion.

The PM also proposed concessional financing to lower income countries through multilateral development banks; provision of loans at lower costs; fulfilment of the 0.7 percent official development assistance commitments; mobilising the required 1.5 trillion dollars annual investment in sustainable infrastructure; mobilising 100 billion dollars per year for climate action in developing countries and halting of illicit financial outflows from developing to rich countries.




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