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Inter-American Development Bank giving over US $4 million to ensure Belize has access to vaccines

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Posted: Monday, March 22, 2021. 1:07 pm CST.

By Benjamin Flowers: The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) says it is supporting Belize’s health sector with over  $4 million so that the country can have access to COVID-19 vaccines.

The IDB said that it is providing a US $2.1 million Guarantee that will consist of the issuance of a sovereign guarantee to cover the purchase of the committed doses of COVID-19 vaccines, channelled through ‘Gavi’ Alliance’s COVAX Facility.

The Bank said the direct beneficiaries of the project will be high-priority population groups to be immunized with the vaccines made available under the COVAX Facility;  however, low-priority groups that have a lower chance of infection will still indirectly benefit from it as well.

The IDB’s support also includes a US $2.8 million investment component, which will finance investments for the National COVID-19 Vaccine Introduction Plan involving activities to strengthen logistics of conservation (storage and cold chain management), distribution and deployment of vaccines (transportation and application), and it will support facility readiness, stock tracking and vaccination registry.

There will also be a component that addresses  the development and execution of a public information campaign regarding the vaccine and its benefits in order to encourage demand among the population.  

“This project will help reduce the morbidity and mortality caused by COVID-19 and to mitigate other indirect impacts of the pandemic on health,” the financial institution said. “The main outcomes will be an increase in the percentage of health personnel and people in prioritized groups, such as, persons 60 years and over and persons with special conditions and comorbidities, who have been vaccinated against COVID-19.”

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