The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has announced that it will mobilize US$1 billion to help Latin American and Caribbean countries acquire and distribute COVID-19 vaccines. The financial institution noted that the funds will complement US$1.2 billion in resources that it has committed in 2020, as well as other funds already programmed for 2021, to help countries save lives through public-health measures, such as more effective testing and tracing, and better clinical management of COVID-19 patients.
Following this decision, IDB President Mauricio Claver-Carone was keen to note that the financial institute is expanding support to help Latin American and Caribbean countries ensure timely access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines. He said that the coming months will be critical to altering the course of the pandemic and supporting the recovery of the region, which is why it is being bold and proactive.
Guyana Standard understands that the IDB will support countries in three main areas: the purchase of vaccine doses through multilateral efforts, such as the COVAX Facility; institutional strengthening to help countries develop effective vaccine deployment mechanisms; and investment to build immunization capacity and finance operational costs. The Bank will also work closely with other institutions, including the Pan-American Health Organization.
In addition, the IDB reiterated its call for Latin American and Caribbean governments to redouble efforts to prepare national deployment and vaccination plans. The IDB said it stands ready to help ensure their successful implementation throughout the region.
Founded in 1959, the IDB is one of the main sources of long-term financing for economic, social, and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research projects and offers policy advice, technical assistance, and training to public and private clients throughout the region.