The World Bank announced on Thursday that its board of directors had approved $500 million in additional funding to assist Turkey in responding to the health consequences of the coronavirus outbreak.

The funds, which will mature in ten and a half years with a five-year grace period, will be used to enhance access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccinations in Turkey as part of a reinforced pandemic response, according to the bank.

The Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank (AIIB), according to the bank, would contribute an additional $250 million in co-financing to assist pay for vaccination supplies. “This project will allow the government to refocus its financial resources on programs and reforms that may have suffered as a result of the pandemic,” Task Leader Nadwa Rafeh noted in a press statement.

“Through a network of healthy living centers, the government will be able to support crucial reform efforts that are already underway, such as improving non-communicable disease case management and strengthening preparedness for public health threats and emergencies,” Rafeh stated.

The World Bank has previously allocated Turkey $100 million as part of its COVID-19 Strategic Preparedness and Response Program in April 2020.

According to the World Bank’s Turkey Country Director, Augusto Tano Kouame, Turkey’s COVID-19 statewide immunization program was one of the most successful and inclusive pandemic vaccination campaigns. “Through this project, the World Bank is pleased to contribute to the saving of lives in Turkey.”

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