COLOMBO, SRI LANKA (9 July 2021) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Sri Lanka today signed loan agreements for $150 million under the Asia Pacific Vaccine Access Facility (APVAX) for the procurement of vaccines and other related consumables.

The loan is part of 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 member countries.

Secretary to the Treasury and Ministry of Finance S. R. Attygalle signed the loan agreement for the Government of Sri Lanka and ADB Country Director for Sri Lanka Chen Chen signed on behalf of ADB.

“ADB is committed towards curtailing this pandemic and minimizing its negative socioeconomic and health effects,” said Mr. Chen.  “We are in constant contact with the government and development partners to support the country in its recovery from the pandemic.”

The loan will help finance the purchase of safe and effective coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines, contributing to the government’s target to reach 80% vaccine coverage by 2023. This intervention, which targets the entire country across all 26 health districts in all 9 provinces, will ensure that the geographically, socially, and economically deprived populations are protected from COVID-19 and its effects.

“ADB has been a committed partner, providing assistance where it is needed most,” said Mr. Attygalle. “This intervention will certainly boost the country’s vaccination drive and assist in enhancing essential infrastructure and systems in the health sector”.

The loan aims to help strengthen the vaccination monitoring systems, vaccine transport, and vaccine-related medical waste management towards enhancing the resilience and responsiveness of the health system to curtail the COVID-19 spread in the country.

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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