By Faith Nyasuguta
Lack of Covid-19 vaccines access in Africa is “unacceptable”, World Bank Managing Director Axel van Trotsenburg has said.
Van Trotsenburg said that on Wednesday before attending an Abidjan meeting on the World Bank’s financial aid to the African continent.
“This is a huge issue, we say this is unacceptable that African populations have been only vaccinated to the extent of one percent,” he spoke to the AFP.
“It has to change and we have to do a lot more,” the director added.
For the high-income nations across the globe, vaccination rates have gone to heights of about 70 per cent.
Early in the year, the Johnson & Johnson Foundation revealed that it would provide up to 400 million doses of the one-shot vaccine to the continent.
However, the maiden shipment will not arrive any earlier than the third quarter of this year.
“We will provide the financing, we’re working on that and we hope to make progress very, very soon,” van Trotsenburg said.
“This is a global disease that requires a global solution that means that we need to fight, need to help all countries and not only a few countries have access,” he said.
Africa is currently the world’s least affected continent with the Covid-19 after Oceania.
It has recorded some six million Covid-19 cases and about 153,000 deaths out of a population of approximately 1.3 billion people.
The meeting set to be held on Thursday is set to discuss how the World Bank will aid Africa for the next three years.
The program was expected to be renewed in 2022 but has been pushed back following the urgent need for Covid-19 vaccines in Africa.
The institution issues low-interest loans to 76 countries, 39 in Africa, at a mean of $22 billion a year.