ADB grants £675 million to Bangladesh for Covid vaccine purchase

THE ASIAN DEVELOPMENT BANK (ADB) approved a loan of $940 million (£675m) for Bangladesh to facilitate purchase of safe and effective vaccines against the coronavirus. It is a part of ADB’s $9 billion (£6.5bn) Asia Pacific Vaccine Access Facility (Apvax) launched in December 2020 to offer vaccine-related support to ADB’s developing member countries.

“Vaccination programs can break the chain of virus transmission, save lives, and mitigate the negative economic impacts of the pandemic,” ADB president Masatsugu Asakawa said in a statement.

“This project is a continuation of ADB’s ongoing support to Bangladesh’s Covid-19 pandemic response in order to protect its population from the virus, rebuild the livelihoods of vulnerable groups, and work to return its economy to its impressive growth path,” he added.

The loan amount will enable purchase of an estimated 44.7 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines to be administered to more than 20 million people in Bangladesh by 2024.

Bangladesh will secure vaccines through the Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access (Covax) program, the UN Children’s Fund (Unicef), or bilateral arrangements with vaccine manufacturers or distributors.