The World Bank has approved a loan of 454.4 million euros ($474.4 million) to help South Africa fund COVID-19 vaccine purchases, the bank and South Africa’s National Treasury said in a statement.
South Africa has recorded the most coronavirus cases and deaths on the African continent, with over 3.9 million confirmed cases and more than 101 000 deaths.
Acting Treasury director-general Ismail Momoniat said in the statement:
The loan forms part of government efforts to reduce debt service costs by making use of cheaper sources of funding through multilateral development banks, whilst supporting the health system to respond to Covid-19 through the roll-out of vaccines, critical research, and treatment measures.
Marie Françoise Marie Nelly, the World Bank’s country director for South Africa said:
This support aims to put the country on a more resilient and inclusive growth path by boosting South Africa’s Covid-19 vaccination efforts with the goal of vaccinating up to 70% of the country’s target population.
This project builds on our new World Bank Group country partnership framework 2022 – 2026, jointly developed with the government in July 2021 to help stimulate investment and job creation
South Africa has an adult population of around 40 million people. As of 14 June 2022, South Africa had administered 36 522 914 vaccines.
In recent months the vaccination campaign has slowed, despite efforts to boost takeup.
Gauteng Province is the most affected region with Confirmed Cases standing at 1 315 582; Deaths: 20 925; Recoveries: 1 292 219 while Active cases stand at 2 438 as of 14 June 2022.