MANILA, PHILIPPINES (24 September 2021) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) today approved a $15 million loan to help the Government of Georgia procure and deploy coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines and strengthen the country’s capacity to implement its vaccine program.

The project will support Georgia’s National Vaccines Deployment Plan by purchasing and delivering an estimated 700,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines as well as syringes, safety boxes, and other items for administering vaccines. It is financed through ADB’s $9 billion Asia Pacific Vaccine Access Facility launched in December 2020 to offer rapid and equitable vaccine-related support to ADB developing member countries.

“Vaccines are critical to reducing the spread and severity of COVID-19,” said ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa. “This project will help save lives in Georgia and restore the confidence of citizens. ADB is fully committed to helping Georgia manage the adverse health, social, and economic impacts of COVID-19 and this project is a key part of ADB’s holistic support for the country’s pandemic response.”

The government aims to vaccinate 60% of the total adult population in 2021, or about 1.7 million people. ADB’s COVID-19 Vaccine Support Project under the Asia Pacific Vaccine Access Facility for Georgia will procure enough vaccines to inoculate about 300,000 people, or about 8% of Georgia’s total population. The government’s vaccination program prioritizes health workers, residents and staff of long-term care centers, elderly persons and persons with chronic diseases, and essential service providers.

The project will also strengthen the capacity of the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Labor, Health, and Social Affairs to implement the national vaccination program. Health workers and vaccination staff will receive gender sensitivity training and gender equality awareness messages will be incorporated into communications plans and guidelines for mobile teams to reach women and marginalized groups.

The project builds on ADB’s earlier support for Georgia’s COVID-19 response. This includes a $100 million loan to support social protection and businesses affected by the economic slowdown; a $200 million policy-based loan to strengthen Georgia’s social protection, fiscal, and debt management systems; and a $2.5 million grant to increase testing capacity and procure medical equipment.

Georgia joined ADB in 2007 and the bank has since become one of the country’s largest multilateral development partners with committed loans amounting to $3.92 billion and technical assistance projects worth $28.9 million. ADB’s development priorities in Georgia include expanding trade, creating jobs, and combating poverty by developing economic corridors.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.

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