Kenya secures $130mln from the World Bank for COVID vaccines

Financing will help Kenya buy vaccines through an African Union facility set up for that purpose

  
Kenyans queue to receive the AstraZeneca's coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine, at the Ruaraka Uhai Neema Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya, April 8, 2021.

Kenyans queue to receive the AstraZeneca's coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine, at the Ruaraka Uhai Neema Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya, April 8, 2021.

Reuters/Baz Ratner

NAIROBI - Kenya has secured $130 million of additional funds from the World Bank to help buy vaccines to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, the bank said on Tuesday.

Like other countries around the continent, the East African nation has been hit by deadly waves of COVID-19 infections this year, forcing it to re-impose strict, partial lockdown measures.

"This additional financing comes at a critical time when the Government of Kenya is making concerted efforts to contain the rising cases of COVID-19 infections," said Keith Hansen, the World Bank's country director in Kenya.

The financing will help Kenya buy vaccines through an African Union facility set up for that purpose, as well as through COVAX, the global scheme for sharing vaccines equitably.

The funds will give the government a "flexible approach to select a portfolio of vaccines that best suits local capacities, timings of delivery, and vaccine approvals," said Jane Chuma, a senior health economist at the World Bank.

The cash will also be used to boost Kenya's cold chain facilities for storage of vaccines, training of health personnel and other associated activities.

(Reporting by Duncan Miriri Editing by Mark Potter) ((duncan.miriri@thomsonreuters.com; Tel: +254 20 4991239; Reuters Messaging: duncan.miriri.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))


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