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Inter-American Development Bank lends Belize $5 million to help in the COVID-19 vaccination drive

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Posted: Friday, March 12, 2021. 2:03 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: The International Development Bank (IDB) is lending Belize assistance to the tune of $4.9 million which should help more Belizeans to be vaccinated.

The IDB said it is offering Beliz a loan and a guarantee to ensure the purchase and distribution of more vaccines.

The assistance takes the form of a $2.8 million investment loan and a $2.1 million credit guarantee for investment projects. The IDB said this should contribute to reduce the numbers of deaths caused by COVID-19 and help soften other indirect impacts of the pandemic.

The $2.1 million guarantee is aimed at providing interventions to contain the transmission of the virus by increasing and facilitating access to COVID-19 vaccines. It comes in the form of a sovereign guarantee for the purchasing of COVID-19 vaccines through ‘Gavi’ Alliance’s COVAX Facility.

On top of that, the investment portion of $2.8 million should facilitate vaccine accessibility. This money should finance investments for the National COVID-19 Vaccine Introduction Plan improving the conservation by means of cold storage, distribution, and application of the vaccines, plus support for facility readiness, stock tracking, and vaccination registry.  It should help Belize’s health sector develop and carry out a public information campaign promoting the benefits of the vaccine to encourage the population to get vaccinated.

The principal objective of the IDB financial assistance is an increase in the vaccination of health personnel and people in priority groups such as, persons 60 years and over and persons with special conditions and comorbidities.

The IDB said the direct beneficiaries will be the members of the priority population groups that will be immunized with the vaccines made available under the COVAX Facility.

Indirect beneficiaries will be other residents and visitors to Belize who should have a lower probability of being infected by the virus due to lower transmission.

Both the IDB’s $2.8 million loan and the $2.1 million guarantee are for a 25-year term. Furthermore, the investment loan has a 5.5-year grace period.

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