By Uganda Online
Kampala: World Bank has announced an additional $180.3 million (Shs640bn) to Uganda to fight Covid-19.
Mukami Kariuki, the World Bank country manager for Uganda, said in the statement on December 16 that this upfront financing will help Uganda acquire vaccines from a range of sources to support the country’s objective to acquire a portfolio of vaccines under the right conditions, which include value-for-money, with appropriate regulatory approvals, and a swift delivery time.
“The project will finance the deployment of the vaccines across the country to citizens and refugees free of cost.”
Of this $164.3m (about Shs581b) is a grant from the International Development Association, which includes $27m (Shs95.9b) for host communities and refugees, and $16m (Shs56.8b) to support essential health services.
The World Bank said in a report on March 2021 that the $300 million (Shs1 trillion) released in 2020, was used to mitigate the economic impact of the pandemic and protect the poor and vulnerable population.
“The project complemented and leveraged support from other development partners including a Rapid Credit Facility of $490 million from the International Monetary Fund delivered in May 2020 to strengthen the foreign exchange reserves position and finance the national budget,” the Bank report said.
“It supported the roll-out of several social protection measures, including cash transfers to the elderly and temporary cash-for-work for informal sector workers in the main urban areas in the country and in flood-affected districts,” it added.
The vaccines will be acquired through the Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) Facility and the African Union’s Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT).