WASHINGTON, USA – The World Bank has approved financing of US$6.2 million for the Belize COVID-19 Response Project, which will support the country in the acquisition and deployment of COVID-19 vaccines.
The project will focus on accelerating vaccination efforts, including the procurement of vaccines suitable for children. The funds will also support a communications campaign to increase vaccine uptake, improve the deployment of vaccines to remote areas and indigenous populations, and accelerate the modernization of Belize’s health care system, including scaling up the digitization of vaccination data. In addition, project financing will support the procurement of medical equipment and supplies to strengthen COVID-19 case management.
“The government of Belize took early, decisive, and commendable action to combat the pandemic. However, as in the rest of the region, COVID-19 continues to pose socioeconomic risks and endanger lives. Belize has made significant progress in vaccinating its people, and we are pleased to be part of its efforts to procure additional vaccines and urgently combat vaccine hesitancy,” said Lilia Burunciuc, World Bank Country Director for the Caribbean. “This support from the World Bank will also help the country further strengthen its health system for this pandemic and improve healthcare for all citizens.”
Activities under the project will include a survey to understand the reasons for vaccine hesitancy in Belize. This information will help the government formulate more effective outreach strategies, focusing on vulnerable groups, alleviating concerns, increasing access to credible information, and countering misinformation.