IDB supports Belize in ensuring timely COVID-19 vaccine accessibilitySunday, March 21, 2021
WASHINGTON, United States (CMC) — The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) says it is supporting Belize's health sector in ensuring timely COVID-19 vaccine accessibility to the Caribbean Community (Caricom) member-state.
The Washington-based financial institution said it has approved the first hybrid sovereign guarantee operation, with an investment loan and a guarantee for Belize.
“The US$2.1 million guarantee will provide support for interventions to contain the transmission of the virus by increasing and facilitating access to COVID-19 vaccines,” the IDB said.
“Specifically, it will consist of the issuance of a sovereign guarantee to cover the purchase of the committed doses of COVID-19 vaccines, channelled through 'Gavi' Alliance's COVAX Facility,” it added.
In addition, the IDB said the investment portion, which consists of US$2.8 million, will facilitate vaccine accessibility.
The IDB said this component will finance investments for the National COVID-19 Vaccine Introduction Plan involving activities to strengthen logistics of conservation (storage and cold chain management), distribution and deployment of vaccines (transportation and application), and it will support facility readiness, stock tracking and vaccination registry.
Besides, the IDB said the component will include the development and execution of a public information campaign regarding the vaccine and its benefits in order to encourage demand among the population.
“This project will help reduce the morbidity and mortality caused by COVID-19 and to mitigate other indirect impacts of the pandemic on health,” the financial institution said. “The main outcomes will be an increase in the percentage of health personnel and people in prioritised groups, such as, persons 60 years and over and persons with special conditions and comorbidities, who have been vaccinated against COVID-19.”
The IDB said the direct beneficiaries will be the members of the priority population groups to be immunised with the vaccines made available under the COVAX Facility.
The lending agency also said that indirect beneficiaries will be other residents and visitors to Belize “who may experience lower chances of infection from the virus due to lower transmission”.
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