Kenya to get Sh14 billion World Bank loan for Covid-19 vaccines

Covid-19 vaccine.

A Kenyan health worker administers the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine to colleagues to help fight coronavirus at the Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi on March 5, 2021. PHOTO | FILE

Kenya will receive a Sh14 billion ($130 million) loan to boost its Covid-19 vaccination plan, widening the financing obligation with the international lender.

The World Bank approved the funds on Tuesday that will enable the country to procure more vaccines and widen its inoculation exercise countrywide.

This is the second fund that the country will receive for the fight against coronavirus under the Covid-19 Emergency Response Project, among other loans for budgetary support that Kenya got after the pandemic hit.

“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 and accelerate the deployment of vaccines to a wider population,” said Keith Hansen, World Bank Country Director for Kenya.

“The upfront financing for the acquisition of Covid-19 vaccines will enable the government to expand access to more Kenyans free of cost.”

In April last year, World Bank approved Sh5.36 billion ($50 million) after the onset of the pandemic for conducting Covid-19 tests, isolation and quarantine centres, and purchase of personal protective gear for health workers. The gover

In March, Kenya returned to the global lender seeking a Sh10 billion loan to help purchase Covid-19 vaccines following a financing shortfall.

“Together with the $10 million (Sh1 billion) triggered under the Contingency Emergency Response Component of the Transforming Health Systems for Universal Care Project, the World Bank’s contributions to Kenya’s Covid-19 response total $246 million (Sh24.5 billion),’’ World Bank stated.