More than 9 million people vaccinated against COVID-19 in Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica with CABEI support
The three countries were the first to request funding from the multilateral for the acquisition and application of the drug, while Cuba was recently approved for €46.7 million to strengthen its biopharmaceutical industry and produce 200 million vaccines.
Tegucigalpa, April 29th, 2022.- A total of US$180 million from the US$800 million credit facility made available by the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) to the eight countries of the Central American Integration System (SICA) for the purchase, distribution and application of vaccines against COVID-19 has made it possible to immunize more than 9 million Hondurans, Nicaraguans and Costa Ricans in the last year and a half.
"For us as the Bank of Central America, we are very pleased to know that of the total resources approved for these three member countries, which come from the Emergency COVID-19 Support and Preparedness and Economic Reactivation Program, US$134.4 million has been disbursed to date, thus safeguarding the health of the people and contributing to the economic reactivation of the region," said CABEI Executive President, Dr. Dante Mossi.
Costa Rica was the first country to request, in 2021, the financing and receive approval for US$80 million to refinance the debt that would allow the vaccination of approximately 3.7 million target population, equivalent to 72% of the total population; and in less than a day after receiving the loan approval from Congress, the Bank disbursed 86% of the funds.
The second country to request financing and the first to disburse in several segments was Honduras. The US$35 million approved was earmarked for the purchase of 2.8 million doses of vaccine; however, during the negotiation process between the government and the supplier, a total of 4.4 million doses were contracted (57% more than expected), thus achieving greater coverage than expected. To date, the government has received all of the doses and has US$4.4 million remaining that can be redirected to purchase additional vaccines.
On the other hand, disbursements made to Nicaragua total US$23.8 million of the US$100 million requested for the mitigation and prevention of COVID-19 in the country through the immunization of approximately 2.4 million of the 3.2 million people defined as a target in the Vaccination Deployment Plan. The implementation of this initiative is externally supervised by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS).
In addition, CABEI, aware that vaccination is the most important tool for preserving public health, recently approved the first financing to its extra-regional partner, the Republic of Cuba, for €46.7 million for the production of 200 million vaccines against COVID-19 for the benefit of more than 11 million people. The operation is part of the Project to Strengthen the Cuban Biopharmaceutical Industry to combat the pandemic and will be executed by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
It is worth noting that the financing is for a 20-year term, including up to five years of grace period with favorable financial conditions; and that CABEI became the first Multilateral Development Bank to issue a COVID-19 Vaccine Bond in November 2020 and another in December 2020, both in the Asian market, to raise a total amount of US$100 million from the capital markets.