WASHINGTON, USA – The World Bank board of directors approved additional financing of US$50 million for El Salvador and US$20 million for Honduras to implement COVID-19 Emergency Response Projects. These financial resources will help El Salvador and Honduras purchase and deploy COVID-19 vaccines and strengthen the countries’ immunization and related health delivery systems.
“Widespread and accessible COVID-19 vaccination is essential to protect lives and foster an inclusive, sustainable economic recovery. This financial support will enable affordable and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for El Salvador and Honduras and will play a critical role in strengthening the countries’ capacity to deliver quality health services for their citizens,” said Michel Kerf, World Bank Director for Central America and the Dominican Republic. “We will continue to work with Central American countries and the Dominican Republic as they continue to combat the pandemic and focus on building back better and improving the living conditions of their populations, particularly the poorest and the most vulnerable.”
The US$50 million Additional Financing for the COVID-19 Emergency Response Project in El Salvador will help finance the procurement of vaccines and key deployment activities such as the purchase of medical supplies, personal protective equipment and vaccine cold-chains, and support communications, human resources, and information systems. The new loan expands the US$20 million COVID-19 Emergency Response Project for El Salvador, approved by the World Bank in April of 2020, to strengthen the national public health system.
The additional financial resources are part of a broader health response to the pandemic, under the coordination of the government of El Salvador and supported by multiple development partners, including the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Pan-American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) and the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI).
The US$20 million additional financing for the COVID-19 Emergency Response Project in Honduras will provide resources to help the government purchase vaccines and strengthen health systems for a successful vaccine deployment. The credit will also support activities such as the procurement of supplies, contracting and training of human resources, upgrading vaccination monitoring and evaluation systems and communication efforts. The additional financing scales-up the US$20 million COVID-19 Emergency Response Project in Honduras, approved in April of 2020.
Investments will be made in coordination with other partners and donors supporting vaccines deployment, including the PAHO/WHO, IDB, CABEI, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), among others.
The US$50 million loan for the additional financing for the COVID-19 Emergency Response Project in El Salvador has a final maturity of 18 years, including a grace period of five years. The US$20 million credit for the additional financing for the COVID-19 Emergency Response Project in Honduras has a final maturity of 30 years, including a grace period of five years.
World Bank Group response to COVID-19
The World Bank, one of the largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries, is taking broad, fast action to help developing countries respond to the health, social and economic impacts of COVID-19. This includes US $12 billion to help low- and middle-income countries purchase and distribute COVID-19 vaccines, tests, and treatments, and strengthen vaccination systems. The financing builds on the broader World Bank Group COVID-19 response, which is helping more than 100 countries strengthen health systems, support the poorest households, and create supportive conditions to maintain livelihoods and jobs for those hit hardest.