DUSHANBE, March 14, 2022 – The Government of Tajikistan and the World Bank signed a US$25 million grant agreement as additional financing to the Tajikistan Emergency COVID-19 Project, which has been supporting Tajikistan’s efforts to respond to the health, social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic since 2020. These additional resources will support the procurement and provision of vaccines against COVID-19. The agreement was signed by the Minister of Finance of Tajikistan Faiziddin Qahhorzoda and World Bank Country Manager Ozan Sevimli.
“I am very pleased that with World Bank support, we will be able to help the people of Tajikistan access safe and effective vaccines against COVID-19 and stay healthy and protected,” said Ozan Sevimli, World Bank Country Manager to Tajikistan. “This is especially critical as the country paves its way towards a more resilient and sustainable post-pandemic recovery and economic growth.”
Currently about 53 percent of Tajikistan’s population has received a single dose of the vaccine and 48 percent have received two doses and are considered to be fully vaccinated. The additional financing will help Tajikistan close its COVID-19 vaccine gap and meet the recently expanded national target of vaccinating all citizen above 12 years of age.
The additional financing will also cover the cost of vaccine delivery, distribution within Tajikistan, the cost of key consumables (needles, syringes, safety boxes), expansion of the electronic vaccine and COVID-19 testing registration system, as well as the printing of vaccine certificates. It will also help procure COVID-19 tests, additional PPE, and supplies such as medications and consumables for hospitals for COVID-19 patients. Additionally, the authorities will be able to expand their communication activities to address vaccine hesitancy and misinformation related to the pandemic.
The original Tajikistan Emergency COVID-19 Project, with a total financing of $11.3 million, was approved in April 2020, and in February 2021 the World Bank approved additional $21.2 million for the project. These resources have helped strengthen Intensive Care Units in 10 hospitals across the country through equipment, medical supplies, personal protective equipment, and small rehabilitation works. Necessary investments were made to improve oxygen supply in 15 hospitals across Tajikistan to help severely ill COVID-19 and other patients to receive life-saving oxygen therapy. As part of the project, a one-time emergency cash assistance was provided to over 214,500 poor households across the country to mitigate the impacts of food price shocks caused by the pandemic. In addition, 650,400 doses of the Moderna vaccines, procured through COVAX, were delivered in early 2022 and important investments were made to prepare Tajikistan for the broader vaccine rollout. The project also provided one-time emergency support to fill a budget gap for procuring vaccines for measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) for children. The project continues to provide critical support to strengthen national capacity on COVID-19 communication and public outreach, with 50 journalists and over 490 community volunteers trained so far.
Currently, the World Bank is financing 25 projects in Tajikistan totaling at $1.39 billion. Since 1996, the World Bank has provided over $2.44 billion in IDA grants, highly concessional credits, and trust funds for Tajikistan. The World Bank is committed to continuing its support as the country strives to improve the lives and meet the aspirations of its young and growing population.
World Bank Group Response to COVID-19
The World Bank Group is taking broad, fast action to help developing countries strengthen their pandemic response, increase disease surveillance, improve public health interventions, and help the private sector continue to operate and sustain jobs. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bank Group has committed over $157 billion to fight the impacts of the pandemic, the fastest and largest crisis response in its history. The financing is helping more than 100 countries strengthen pandemic preparedness, protect the poor and jobs, and jump start a climate-friendly recovery.
PRESS RELEASE NO: 2022/ECA/68