Friday May 14 2021
By ,
Web Desk

Pakistan to receive $153mn from WB to boost coronavirus vaccination drive

By ,
Web Desk
A man receives a dose of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine, as others wait for their turn, at a vaccination center in Karachi, Pakistan April 28, 2021. — Reuters/File
  • Funds granted after the federal government requested the World Bank for assistance.
  • WB remains a committed partner in supporting Pakistan in addressing this public health crisis, says official.
  • Project to strengthen health system’s capacity to implement the vaccination campaign, adds official.

The World Bank has approved the provision of $153 million to support the ongoing national vaccine drive in Pakistan in a bid to help the country fight the pandemic, a statement from the institution said Thursday.

The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has approved the restructuring of the Pandemic Response Effectiveness in Pakistan (PREP) project, which was originally approved in April 2020.

These funds, redeployed at the request of the federal government, will help finance the purchase and deployment of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines that meet the eligibility criteria of the WB.

The project will strengthen the health system’s capacity to implement the vaccination campaign for its prioritised and eligible populations, the statement said.

“The third wave of COVID-19 emerged in Pakistan in March 2021 and is threatening the lives and livelihoods of millions of people,” World Bank Country Director for Pakistan Najy Benhassine said.

“The World Bank remains a committed partner to support Pakistan in addressing this public health crisis, including through vaccination, and providing support to tackle the social and economic impacts of the pandemic," he added.

The statement said in addition to this financing for vaccines in Pakistan, the World Bank has provided $768.5 million to support the vaccination purchase and rollout efforts in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.

"In addition to financing, the Bank is providing technical assistance and knowledge-sharing workshops for countries in South Asia on different aspects of designing and deploying fair and equitable vaccine strategies," it said.

Pakistan has been a member of the World Bank since 1950. Since then, the World Bank has provided $40 billion in assistance.

The banks' program in Pakistan is governed by the Country Partnership Strategy for FY2015-2020 with four priority areas of engagement: energy, private sector development, inclusion, and service delivery. The current portfolio has 57 projects and a total commitment of $13 billion.

Till May 13, 3,997,186 people in Pakistan had received the COVID-19 jab, the National Command and Operations Centre said, with 113,302 inoculations on May 12.

Pakistan down to 61% of COVID-19 peak, cases falling

Coronavirus cases in Pakistan have dropped 61% from their peak, an infectious disease specialist said Friday as the country continues its fight against the third wave of the pandemic.

Dr Faheem Younus, who serves as chief of infectious diseases at the US-based University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health, made this statement after observing the available data.

He said cases falling to 11/100,000 and shared a graph of the fall by Reuters.

"That’s good. Stay at it until case counts are

According to a Reuters daily coronavirus report on Pakistan, the average number of new infections reported each day in Pakistan fell by more than 1,900 over the last 3 weeks, 34% of its previous peak.

COVID-19 infections are decreasing in Pakistan, with 3,552 new infections reported on average each day. That’s 61% of the peak — the highest daily average reported on June 17.

There have been 870,703 infections and 19,336 coronavirus-related deaths reported in the country since the pandemic started.

Pakistan loses 48 more people to coronavirus

Pakistan reported 2,517 new coronavirus infections in a single day on Friday, with the country reporting fewer cases of the infection compared to a few weeks ago.

According to the figures provided by the NCOC, Pakistan carried out 30,700 coronavirus tests in the last 24 hours, out of which 2,517 returned positive.

The positivity ratio in Pakistan stands at 8.19% as of today.

At least 48 people have lost their lives to the virus in the last 24 hours across the country, NCOC said.