World Bank announces $12bn plan for poor countries to buy Covid vaccines

World Bank announces $12bn plan for poor countries to buy Covid vaccines

The World Bank has announced plans for a $12bn (£9.3bn) initiative that will allow poor countries to purchase Covid-19 vaccines to treat up to 2 billion people as soon as effective drugs become available.

In an attempt to ensure that low-income countries are not frozen out by wealthy nations, the organisation is asking its key rich-nation shareholders to back a scheme that will disburse cash over the next 12 to 18 months.

David Malpass, the World Bank president, said the initiative was needed because Covid-19 was having a much bigger impact on low and middle income countries than on the developed world.

“Having this finance available will be a game changer because once a safe and effective vaccine is available it will allow people to resume their lives with confidence.”