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The Tajikistan Emergency COVID-19 Project, which has been assisting Tajikistan in responding to the health, social, and economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic since 2020, has signed a US$25 million funding deal. With the excess funding, COVID-19 immunizations will be purchased and distributed. The deal was signed by Tajikistan’s Finance Minister Faiziddin Qahhorzoda and World Bank Country Manager Ozan Sevimli.

“I am overjoyed that, thanks to World Bank support, we will be able to help the people of Tajikistan get safe and effective COVID-19 vaccinations and keep well and protected,” said Ozan Sevimli, World Bank Country Manager for Tajikistan. “This is especially critical as the country pursues a more resilient and long-term recovery and economic growth in the aftermath of the pandemic.”

Around 53% of Tajikistan’s population has received one dosage of the vaccine, while 48% has received two doses and is fully immunised. The additional cash will help Tajikistan close the COVID-19 immunisation gap and achieve the country’s newly enlarged goal of vaccinating everyone above the age of 12.

The additional funding will be used to support vaccine delivery, distribution inside Tajikistan, crucial consumables (needles, syringes, safety boxes), the expansion of the electronic vaccine and COVID-19 testing registration system, and vaccine certificate manufacture. Hospitals will also have easier access to COVID-19 diagnostics, supplementary PPE, and supplies for COVID-19 patients, such as medications and consumables. Authorities will be able to enhance their communication efforts in order to overcome vaccination scepticism and pandemic misinformation.

In February 2021, the World Bank approved an additional $21.2 million to supplement the $11.3 million Tajikistan Emergency COVID-19 Project. These moneys have helped boost Intensive Care Units in eleven hospitals around the country by providing equipment, medical supplies, personal protective equipment, and small rehabilitation projects. In order to provide life-saving oxygen therapy to COVID-19 and other severely ill patients, required expenditures were made in 15 hospitals around Tajikistan.

As part of the project, over 214,500 poor households across the country got one-time emergency cash assistance to help them cope with the effects of food price shocks caused by the pandemic. In early 2022, COVAX purchased 650,400 doses of Moderna vaccines, and major investments were made in Tajikistan to prepare for a larger vaccination distribution. Furthermore, the organisation gave one-time emergency cash to help close a budget deficit, allowing children to obtain MMR vaccines. The effort continues to provide vital support in strengthening national capacity on COVID-19 communication and public outreach, with 50 journalists and over 490 community volunteers trained thus far.

Tajikistan is currently receiving $1.39 billion in World Bank assistance for 25 projects. Since 1996, Tajikistan has received around $2.44 billion in World Bank IDA grants, highly concessional loans, and trust funds. The World Bank is committed to assisting the country in its efforts to improve the lives of its youthful and growing population and satisfy their aspirations.

The World Bank Group’s Response to COVID-19

The World Bank Group is launching a series of quick-reaction programmes to help developing nations strengthen their pandemic response, improve disease surveillance, improve public health measures, and let the private sector continue to operate and create jobs. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the Bank Group has invested approximately $157 billion to mitigate its impacts, making it the fastest and largest crisis response in its history. The funds will be used to boost pandemic preparedness, protect the poor and jobs, and jumpstart a climate-friendly recovery in more than 100 countries.

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