10:18 GMT14 June 2021
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The World Bank approved $12 billion to help developing countries purchase novel coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines and treatments, the organisation said in a statement.

    The move is part of a larger programme of up to $160 billion in total, aimed to provide assistance to more than 100 states in combating the COVID-19 pandemic through June 2021.

    "The World Bank's Board of Executive Directors today approved an envelope of $12 billion for developing countries to finance the purchase and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, tests, and treatments for their citizens", the release said on Tuesday.

    The World Bank seeks to support the vaccination of up to a billion people, the release said. Apart from purchasing COVID-19 vaccines, the programme includes technical support, namely supply chain and logistics management to provide their effective deployment and expand the distribution capacity. 

    The World Bank earlier reported that the coronavirus pandemic may put more than 150 million people around the globe into extreme poverty and drive up child mortality rates in developing countries by slightly less than a half of the current rate.

    According to the Johns Hopkins University, India now is the second country in the world in terms of COVID-19 tally. As of today, the country has confirmed more than 7.1 million infections, including over 109,000 fatalities.

    The number of COVID-19 cases registered across Africa has also surpassed the 1.5 million mark recently. While the epidemiological situation in the region has fallen short of the dire predictions posited at the beginning of the crisis, the economic impact of the pandemic on the impoverished continent remains a cause for concern.

    health, treatment, vaccine, pandemic
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