Ukraine receives more World Bank funds to fight COVID-19

FILE PHOTO: The national flag of Ukraine flies over the town of Kramatorsk, Ukraine November 25, 2021. Picture taken with a drone on November 25, 2021. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko

December 11, 2021

KYIV (Reuters) – The World Bank has approved an additional $150 million loan to help Ukraine speed up vaccinations against COVID-19, the international lender’s Ukrainian office said on Saturday.

Ukraine’s government will spend $120 million on 16.5 million vaccine doses and the rest will be used for IT, communications and public outreach, capacity building and cold chain and waste management equipment, the World Bank said.

“This new additional financing will help Ukraine continue strengthening its COVID-19 response and vaccination activities,” Arup Banerji, the World Bank’s regional country director for Eastern Europe, said in the statement.

The new funds add to $155 million provided this year through two projects to support Ukrainian healthcare in the pandemic.

“Ukraine still has one of the lowest vaccination rates in Europe, and as such, is paying a high economic and human price, particularly with the emergence of new virus variants,” Banerji said.

According to Ukrainian health ministry data, 12.4 million people have received two shots of COVID-19 vaccines out of a population of 41 million, while 3.6 million cases of infection and about 91,000 deaths have been registered.

(Reporting by Natalia Zinets; Editing by Edmund Blair)

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