World Bank and ADB Approves $900 Million Worth of Loans for the Philippines
On March 12, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the World Bank (WB) approved a total of $900 million worth of loans for the Philippines’ COVID-19 response.
The ADB approved a $400-million (P19.4-billion) loan for the Philippines to purchase COVID-19 vaccines. Under the terms, the ADB will pay vaccine suppliers directly.
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The ADB and the Philippines have agreed that only vaccines that meet at least one of the three Asia Pacific Vaccine Access Facility (APVAX) criteria can be procured. The vaccines should have passed the procurement selection process through COVAX, pre-qualified according to the World Health Organization, or been authorized by a stringent regulatory authority in the country of production.
On the same day, the WB also greenlighted a $500-million (P24.2-billion) loan to help the government stem the spread of the pandemic. Among the strategies that will be supported are the strengthening of the country’s health care system and providing assistance to the most vulnerable sectors of society.
In a press statement released by the WB, Ndiamé Diop, World Bank country director for Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand, explains the loan is meant to boost the local economy.
“Inclusive deployment of vaccines in line with the World Health Organization Fair Allocation Framework is critical for preventing grave illness and deaths from COVID-19, opening the economy in earnest, ensuring a resilient recovery, and restoring jobs and incomes,” said Diop.