Ethiopia, World Bank Sign $195mln Grant Agreement

ADDIS ABABA – Finance Ministry and World Bank on Friday signed a grant agreement amounting to 195 million US Dollars which will finance Ethiopia’s fight against the COVID-19 epidemic.

The agreement was signed between Fiance Minister Ahmed Shide and Ousmane Dione, World Bank’s country director for Ethiopia,  a week after the bank’s executives approved the grant.

The finance primarily will help Ethiopia’s vaccine acquisition and their effective deployment in rural and vulnerable groups of the country.

The Finance Ministry said the fund will support various activities in Ethiopia’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Project under the COVID-19 Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan.

These activities are geared toward helping health officials’ efforts to achieve 60% COVID-19 vaccination coverage by the end of the 2023 calendar year. 

To date, the country has administered over 46.5 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Health minister Dr. Lia Tadesse expressed her “great appreciation” to World Bank for the continued support and the additional financing of $195 million.

“This will further strengthen the efforts of fighting the Covid-19 pandemic, roll out of the vaccine and also enhance resilience of the health system by improving our capacity to detect and respond to current and future pandemics,” the Minister said.

Ethiopia is currently experiencing the fifth wave of the covid pandemic and has so far reported 482, 000 cases,  457,345 recoveries and  7, 518 fatalities.