Manila, March 31 The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $450 million loan to Indonesia to help Bio Farma, a state-owned vaccine supplier, procure and deliver safe and effective vaccines against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), the Manila-based bank said on Wednesday.
The ADB said that the Responsive Covid-19 Vaccines for Recovery (RECOVER) project will fund the purchase of at least 65 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine for priority groups determined by the Indonesian government, the Xinhua news reported.
The project is supported by ADB's $9 billion Asia Pacific Vaccine Access Facility (APVAX), launched in December 2020 to offer rapid and equitable vaccine-related support to ADB developing members.
For a vaccine to be eligible for APVAX financing, it must meet one of three criteria. It must be procured via the Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access Facility (COVAX), prequalified by the World Health Organization, or authorised by a Stringent Regulatory Authority.
The Indonesian government aims to vaccinate 181.5 million people against Covid-19 in one of the world's most extensive vaccination campaigns. Indonesia recorded more than 1.5 million Covid-19 cases and 40,000 deaths as of March 30.
The ADB said that the pandemic has significantly affected livelihoods, especially among the poor and vulnerable. About 30 million people in Indonesia have lost jobs or have been forced to cut working hours, increasing poverty, it added.
( With inputs from IANS )
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