ADB approves $165 million in loan to Nepal for Covid vaccines

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved $165 million in loan to Nepal for the procurement of the Covid-19 vaccines for Nepal benefiting around 6.8 million Nepali nationals

Jul 23, 2021
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ADB approves $165 million in loan to Nepal for Covid vaccines

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved $165 million in loan to Nepal for the procurement of the Covid-19 vaccines for Nepal benefiting around 6.8 million Nepali nationals. The lender approved the loan on Thursday. 

“Asian Development Bank’s support will help Nepal to procure much-needed Covid-19 vaccines to protect its citizens from the further spread of this disease,” Masatsugu Asakawa, the president of the ADB, was quoted as saying by The Kathmandu Post. 

He emphasized securing the Covid-19 vaccines quickly and their distribution to help get the economy back on track by enabling the restoration of livelihoods and economic activities, as well as the resumption of educational and human development pursuits.

The ADB in December last year launched a $9 billion Asia Pacific Vaccine Access Facility to offer rapid and equitable vaccine-related support to its developing member countries, including Nepal.

Under the terms of the loan, the vaccine must be selected for procurement through the Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) mechanism and be prequalified by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Other funds from the ADB  will strengthen the vaccine delivery system, communication, and community engagement to raise awareness on the risks of Covid-19 and the benefits of vaccination.

Nepal has recently received 1.5 million Moderna Covid vaccines doses through the WHO’s COVAX in donation from the United States. The WHO had earlier directed Nepal not to just wait for free vaccines. It said the country should also order vaccines available with the WHO on a payment basis. 

Nepal started its Covid-19 vaccination campaign in January with 1 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India under the brand name Covishield, that India gave in grant. Nepal has received vaccines also from China, the COVAX facility and the United States in grants. Nepal has also bought 2 million doses of vaccine from India, of which only 1 million jabs have been delivered due to production shortage in India caused by its own surge in demand. 

Nepal on Thursday received a second batch of Vero Cell vaccine that the country purchased from China, The Kathmandu Post said. A Nepal Airlines plane brought 800,000 doses of the vaccine.

Meanwhile,  a multi-national study carried out in Nepal by the Centre for the Study of Labour and Mobility in collaboration with the US-based Yale University shows that Covid-19 vaccine acceptance rate in Nepal is the highest in the world, according to The Kathmandu Post.

The study shows that 97 percent of the Nepalese population, who are eligible for vaccines, are ready to take the jabs, the paper said quoting the study. 

(SAM) 

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