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WB allows Pakistan to use PREP funds for procurement of coronavirus vaccine

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ISLAMABAD: The World Bank on Monday agreed over providing funding to Pakistan for advance purchases of coronavirus vaccines.
According to sources, the World Bank has offered Pakistan providing new funds for the vaccine procurement which was reportedly rejected by Islamabad.
According to sources Pakistan has requested WB to allow utilizing funds issued for Pandemic Response Effectiveness Project (PREP) for the purchase of Covid vaccine which was accepted by the World Bank.
The World Bank’s (WB) Board of Executive Directors in April had approved $153 million for Pandemic Response Effectiveness Project for Pakistan.
It is pertinent to mention here that Pakistan had sought $153mn from the WB for advance purchases of the COVID-19 vaccines. The request had been made by the Economic Coordination Division.
The Health ministry had penned a letter to the Economic Coordination Division advising it to seek funds from the WB for advance purchases of the coronavirus vaccines.
Pakistan is also in direct contact with the COVID-19 vaccine producer firms and also using GAVI platform for the ani-COVID vaccines.
It is to be noted that the ECC has already approved a supplementary grant for the advance purchases of the vaccines.
Pakistan has planned to vaccinate health workers and senior citizens in the first phase in a bid to save them from the deadly pandemic.
Pakistan has recorded 36 deaths and 2,362 new cases due to the COVID-19 in the last 24 hours.
In the past 24 hours, 36 more people succumbed to the disease, taking the death toll to 8,832. 1,719 patients have recovered from the virus during the last 24 hours and 2,456 patients are in critical condition, however, no patient has been declared critical today.
The total count of active cases is 47,236.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed to prepare a comprehensive strategy to further expand Ehsaas Programme.
The Prime Minister said this was talking to his Special Assistant on Poverty Alleviation Sania Nishtar in Islamabad on Monday. Country Director World Bank Najy Benhassine was also present on the occasion.
The Prime Minister was informed that the World Bank has doubled its assistance for Ehsaas Programme which will help extend social protection to more deserving people.
The Country Director World Bank declared the Ehsaas Programme a flagship programme of social protection and a role model for other countries.
Najy Benhassine also appreciated the steps taken by the Prime Minister for environmental protection. He said the Prime Minister’s announcement of shifting to environment friendly renewable energy resources to produce electricity is a highly responsible initiative to save the region from the harmful effects of climate change. – NNI, TLTP