Rwanda to raise Rwf 47 billion for COVID-19 vaccine

On 25 March 2021 at 12:18

The Government of Rwanda is holding discussions with partners including the World Bank to raise US$ 47 million (over Rwf 46.8 billion) to buy COVID-19 vaccines because doses expected to be received through COVAX facility are not enough for the country to vaccinate all people and completely defeat the pandemic.

The development was revealed yesterday during the 17th Annual Development Partners Retreat (DPR) which brings together senior Government officials and Development Partners.

The two-day event held place virtually for the first time, centers on the theme of the retreat, “Stronger Recovery - the path to strategic transformation.” The retreat showcases Rwanda’s effort in containing the effects of COVID-19 and the recovery efforts underway.

Under COVAX facility, Rwanda like other developing countries, will receive vaccines covering 20% of its population. With over 12.9 million population, Rwanda has to receive approximately 2.5 million vaccines to cover 20%.

On the other hand, World Health organization (WHO) says that should at least vaccinate 60% of their population to ensure efforts to defeat the pandemic yield big, starting from people most vulnerable to catch the virus including health workers, people with chronic diseases and those in advanced ages.

To reach the target, Rwanda needs to vaccinate 7.7 million people using 15.5 million doses because currently distributed vaccines including Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca require two doses administration for efficacy.

The Government of Rwanda has revealed that US$ 124 million (over Rwf 123 billion) are needed to acquire, store, distribute and administer vaccines covering 60% of the population as expected by June 2022.

Richard Tusabe; the Minister of State in charge of the National Treasury has said that the Government is holding talks with partners to raise Rwf 46.7 billion to be allocated to ongoing national vaccination efforts.

Rolande Pryce, World Bank Country Manager for Rwanda has also emphasized that the bank might definitively approve US$30 million (over Rwf 29 billion) grant allocated to support Rwanda’s countrywide vaccination program.

In partnership with Development Partners, Government has spared no effort to cushion the economic impact by providing health and medical related equipment, expanding social protection programs, investing in agriculture and infrastructure to provide food security and create employment, provided support to businesses hardest hit by the pandemic to resume operations and thus contribute to recovery by creating the Economic Recovery Fund.

“As Development Partners, we have been pleased to support the government’s excellent response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Development Partners Retreat facilitates joint reflection on policy and other actions to achieve a sustainable, resilient, and inclusive post-COVID recovery for Rwanda. We are privileged to have this opportunity.” said Rolande Pryce, World Bank Country Manager.

Rwanda began countrywide vaccination on 5th March 2021.