The United Kingdom has urged the Caribbean Development Bank, CDB, to start designing financing programmes that its borrowing members can access rapidly to procure COVID-19 vaccines once developed and ready for global distribution.
Baroness Sugg, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Overseas Territories and Sustainable Development, said such programmes could support advance purchase agreements and contributions to the new international ‘COVAX’ facility, which aims to provide equitable and timely access to effective vaccines.
So far, 172 economies are engaged in discussions to potentially participate in COVAX, a global initiative which is working manufacturers to deploy COVID vaccines to countries, once they are licensed and approved.
Sugg said multilateral development banks, including the CDB, must support countries to integrate vaccination and new tests and treatments into their national response.
“The United Kingdom encourages the CDB to develop its approach to providing countries with options to finance vaccines, partnering with other multilateral development banks as needed,” she added, in a presentation to the 50th anniversary meeting of the bank’s board of governors held online last week.
The development bank, which supports governments of the region, is negotiating the replenishment of its special development fund, to which non-borrowing members such as the UK contribute.
The funds are used for poverty alleviation and human development programmes. The UK approved a £4.5 million contribution to the fund to be used to support countries in the region with their COVID-19 recovery.