Practice English Speaking&Listening with: COVID-19: Vaccines for Developing Countries | 2021 WBG-IMF Spring Meetings

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The World Bank Group IMF meetings are virtual once more.

And while our buildings are relatively empty when compared to past years,

You, connecting wherever you are, have more opportunity than ever to take part.

For weeks we've been convening and recording in-depth conversations

with some of the world's leading experts

on the most urgent development issues of our time.

Now for these Spring Meetings

we're proud to bring you 4 events

that will play out over 4 days

and cover 4 important themes,

economic recovery, debts, climate and vaccines.

And while the main events are recorded

our subject matter experts are standing

by live online right now

to answer your questions and share your comments.

- Hi, I'm Nejma Cheikh.

As it is in place, my colleagues and I will be answering your questions

in English, French, Spanish and Arabic.

In the live chat at

And while you're here, please vote in our poll.

There will be a new question every day.

And after each event, we'll be back here live

from our headquarters in Washington DC.

And on this socially distant set, we'll be putting some

of the most popular questions that have come in online

to senior World Bank Group leaders and experts.

So what are you waiting for?

Find out the details and share your perspective,

And to have your say in today's event

use hashtag #Vaccines4All.

Now, be sure to stick around after today's headline session

we've received a special message from Pope Francis

which we'll be sharing,

we'll also have a live discussion

with the International Finance Corporation (IFC)

Stephanie von Friedeburg and the World Bank's [MOMENTS AWAY: COVID-19: VACCINES FOR DEVELOPING COUNTRIES]

Mamta Murthi answering your questions.

And we'll be sharing the results of today's poll and much more,

I do hope you'll join us.

But now let's get started with today's session,

COVID-19 Vaccines for Developing Countries

hosted by journalist Anne-Marie Dias Borges.








[ANNE-MARIE DIAS BORGES PRESENTER/BBC] Good morning, good afternoon and good evening

to our viewers from around the world

and welcome to our final public event

at the World Bank Group IMF Spring Meetings

I'm Anne-Marie Dias Borges, BBC Business anchor

and I am delighted to be your host for this flagship event,

COVID-19 Vaccines for Developing Countries.

A topic that is very much top of mind

as most of us have been affected in one way or another

by this global pandemic.

Firstly, I felt the wrath of this pandemic as sadly

my father passed away early this year.

Who would have thought little over a year

after the World Health Organization declared the pandemic

that safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines would already be in use.

Still great challenges remain.

While the rollout of these vaccines

in developing countries is critical to protecting lives,

building human capital and stimulating economic recovery,

the current crisis is exacerbating inequalities

throughout the world and without access to vaccines,

the gap will widen further.

Ensuring developing countries can access

as well as safely distribute vaccines,

call for strong partnership and cooperation.

Over the next hour we'll be asking

how are developing countries preparing

for large-scale rollouts of vaccines

and what gaps in access and distribution remain?

How are the private and public sector

helping to address the challenge

and how can efforts to address this crisis

help us prepare for future pandemics.

There are plenty of ways to watch,

we're streaming this event in English,

Spanish, French and Arabic on World Bank Live

and across our social channels too,

World Bank Live is also where our experts

are taking your questions right now.

You can share your comments at any point,

using the hashtag #Vaccines4All.

We have an amazing lineup of guests.

Take a look at what's coming up.






















So some really big names and big conversations to come

but first we wanted to hear from young people who

have been particularly affected by this pandemic.

They've missed out on school and university,

faced unemployment and are often supporting family members

coping with mental health issues and, in some cases,

encountering gender-based violence.

But they also have hope for a better tomorrow.

[SHIRIN RAJESH/STUDENT] Nobody was prepared for the challenges

that the COVID pandemic threw at us.

[ARUSHI MENON/STUDENT] Virtual classes meant frequent power outages

and all sorts of hurdles that posed as a difficulty to my learning.

[PINIEL VIRERI/STUDENT] With all the facts, obviously I'm a student

so meaning that my education is going to be very affected.

[DISHANT MAN SHERCHAN/STUDENT] Because of Corona one year has already gone by,

if we truly want to change this notion of Nepal

being a developing country to a developed country finally,

I believe education is what will take us there.

[MARTINO SAN MARTIN/STUDENT] Scientists' amazing achievement with vaccines

will make me able to return to university and get

that complete and thorough education I'm craving for.

[ISHITA GUPTA/STUDENT] I think in a developing country like mine,

the biggest challenge would be,

how do we first get vaccines to the places where COVID

has worsened pre-existing problems.

[ELIANE MBENDE/DENTAL STUDENT] Our biggest challenge is to put in place

a secure supply chain at national level.

[FAISA SYAHLA SABILA/STUDENT] Living in an archipelago consisting of over

17,000 islands is very challenging, especially

at times like this, where we have

to mobilize vaccine distribution.

Navigating logistics to remote areas in the country

is one big problem that we still need to resolve.

[NANA ABA BUABIMA BENTSI-ENCHILL/STUDENT] Our biggest challenge facing vaccine distribution

is fear driven by misconceptions - but I am not afraid.

The vaccines are safe and effective

and puts us one step closer to restoring our world.

[MARCIA GRANADOS/STUDENT] We will all be able to go back to how things were

before this pandemic started.

We will have social interaction

without the risk of getting sick.

[TAVISH PRADHAN/STUDENT] I will be able to travel to my favorite places

and spend quality time with my family.

I can finally visit my grandparents and celebrate

my grandmother's birthday safely.


It's good, it's good

It's good, it's good

With vaccines I can move about freely to class

and dance in public.

[NUZABAH AZIM/STUDENT] With vaccines things will change

because it will help restore our lives back to normal

and bring peace to our restless minds.

Hearing from those young people

you really understand how important, how urgent it is

that global vaccines deployment is successful.

It is now my pleasure to introduce World Bank Group

president David Malpass

to share his perspective on this vital work.

David, over to you.


The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a heavy toll

on the health and welfare of billions of people.

And its impact threatens to reverse a decade

of gains in human capital.

Access to COVID-19 vaccines will be critical

for saving lives.

We've made up to US$12 billion available

for vaccination programs, together with partners

we've supported over a hundred countries

to undertake rapid readiness assessments,

identifying gaps whether with cold chain

infrastructure or health workers,

where there are gaps, we must move quickly to fill them,

our projects aim to do this.

To have enough vaccines for developing countries,

we must address two things.

First, we need more production.

IFC, our private sector development arm, has US$4 billion

available through its global health platform

to help manufacturers produce vaccines,

support production of essential medical equipment

and strengthen health services.

And second, we need greater transparency

around contracting arrangements

between pharmaceutical companies that develop the vaccines

and their contract manufacturers to create opportunities

for increased and direct flow of approved vaccines.

Further strengthening of private public cooperation

is important to rebuilding and strengthening health systems.

Throughout our COVID-19 response,

we're paying close attention to the need

to protect and invest in people.

Investing in health, education, gender

and social protection helps build resilience

when countries face crises, whether from economic downturns,

pandemics or climate change.

As countries return to sustainable growth,

they will continue to face intense fiscal pressures,

they will need to prioritize smart investments

in people that deliver dividends for the future,

it's critical to get economies growing faster

and to keep more families from falling into poverty.

These steps and our partnerships together

within countries, across regions

and globally are the essential building blocks

to a sustainable and inclusive recovery.

Anne-Marie, over to you.

Thank you, David.

We're going to be hearing lots

of great ideas on distributing vaccines

but we want to know what you think.

We're running a special poll throughout this event

and we're asking:

"What do you think is the most important factor

in ensuring the fair distribution of vaccines?"

Is it "A. increasing vaccine production to meet demand"

or "B. overcoming logistical challenges

in storing and transporting vaccines".

Or is it "C. building trust through education

and awareness campaigns"?

Cast your votes at

and while you're there there's also an opportunity

to upvote your favorite question.

We'll be putting some of those directly to two

of the bank groups top experts at the end of this event

when we'll also be revealing the result of the poll.

Let's now take a closer look

at the work underway in developing countries

to prepare for large scale vaccine rollouts.

I am honored to be joined by a truly top-level panel of experts.

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is Director General

of the World Health Organization,

Henrietta Fore is the Executive Director of UNICEF

and Axel van Trotsenburg is Managing Director

of Operations at the World Bank.

Thank you all for joining us today.

Dr. Tedros to you first, as the head of the organization

at the forefront of the pandemic,

you have stressed the global solidarity

that is needed to fight it.

Could you share with us what you mean by that?

As you may remember when I called for global solidarity,

I used to also say and I still say national unity.

So national unity and global solidarity are important.

And I will start with national unity.

As you know, if this pandemic is politicized and

if there are especially politicization at the country level

then the crack between the different political positions

could be exploited by the virus

and we have seen that in many countries.

So the first thing countries should avoid

is politicization of this pandemic at the country level,

because if it's politicized then it will exploit,

the virus will exploit.

And at the same time, if there is national unity

that's the basis for global solidarity

because there is already a consensus

at the country level

that can also bring global solidarity

at the global level.

So coming to the global solidarity,

global solidarity means maybe

in simple terms, it could start

from sharing information

about the outbreak so others can understand.

It could be sharing the pathogen

so others can use the pathogen to produce technology,

then when technology is produced,

it could be sharing technology, like vaccines

for instance, sharing vaccines is solidarity.

And not only that, solidarity means working together also,

collaborating, coordinating the response together.

But to be honest,

since the pandemic started, the solidarity

and national unity had been really not as good

as one would desire.

So even going forward, I think we need

to still advocate for global solidarity

because the virus will not be defeated in a divided world

we need to share everything that we have

in order to defeat this virus.

And the sharing or supporting each other

is not charity for me.

It is actually in the best interest

of each and every nation.

As you know, the virus is changing quickly.

We have mutation going on

and we have several variants actually coming

from different countries.

If the change in the mutation

of the virus is significant enough,

if that behavioral change

of the virus is significant enough

even the vaccines we have now may not work.

So if you take one aspect of solidarity, sharing technology

or vaccines, unless we increase the coverage

of vaccines quickly, and defeat the pandemic, the virus,

the virus will get a space

to continue to spread, circulate and then mutate.

Then you have more variants.

And even those countries which have high coverage

of vaccines will not be secure

because the new variant that may not be stopped

by the vaccines we have, will invade the countries

which may have even 100%

in few months with the existing vaccines.

So it's in the best interest of all of us, thank you.

Thank you, thank you very much.

Now let's turn to Executive Director Henrietta Fore.

Henrietta, there are certainly many issues

and challenges in terms of vaccines, please tell us

what is UNICEF's position on those challenges at the moment?

Anne-Marie, one of our challenges is financing

and the World Bank has come forward with IDA financing.

It makes a big difference in country readiness

in the procurement and the delivery

of these vaccines and a replenishment is coming.

This will be critical for us to be sure

that we are able to reach the poorest countries

and the poorest areas.

So World Bank financing makes a difference,

it is part of this global solidarity approach

that Tedros was just speaking about.

So for UNICEF, that is on the ground

in many, many countries, this is important.

So UNICEF usually is distributing

and procuring vaccines that are routine immunizations

for children, things like measles and polio

and other vaccines necessary for a child's health.

This is usually about 2 billion vaccines a year,

now we are procuring 2 billion additional vaccines for COVID,

it is a massive procurement and supply operation

and with the World Bank and WHO,

we do country readiness assessments

so that there are national development plans

and they can prioritize where these vaccines should go.

But this enormous undertaking means

that you need lots of pieces in the supply chain.

So, after we are able to procure the vaccines

and deliver them to the countries,

it's very important that countries are ready for them.

We have been working for years on cold chains

but this COVID time period has really tested the cold chains

and how cold our chains are.

We also need to work with the Ministries of Health,

preparing and training the healthcare workers.

Every vaccine is different and you need to be sure

that the workers, the healthcare workers

the front lines, have personal protective equipment

but they also have the knowledge to know how

to do the vaccination campaigns.

Then we also have a great need

which is communication to populations.

So every population needs to know that vaccines work,

that they are safe, so that people do get vaccinated

and this is an important part of building trust

in societies and it is important for every country.

So there's many pieces to the puzzle

but country readiness is very much on our mind

and it is what we're working toward.

A big undertaking, lots of partners,

we do it with the World Bank, with WHO

but we're out there to help children and their families.

Thank you, allow me to turn now

to Mr. Axel van Trotsenburg,

Axel, getting vaccines

to developing countries is the first hurdle.

Then, as vaccines arrive, there are many more hurdles

getting the vaccines where they need to go

before ending up reaching the people.

How is the Bank supporting countries on those two fronts?

Well, let me go through the first hurdle

as Tedros correctly said, we need international solidarity

but I would add - actually, we need

to add fairness and urgency.

Fairness is that all the developing countries

particularly low-income countries have access

to the vaccines.

This is currently not the case and this is a huge concern

to all of us who are sitting,

Tedros has been calling for it,

Henrietta has been calling

for fair distribution of vaccines.

We need to reserve a certain amount

of the installed capacity for low-income countries.

Otherwise there is a huge risk that they will be left out

and only getting the bulk of the vaccines next year.

There's urgency to act, we cannot wait,

we have to keep on that urgency.

And I think this is certainly,

from the UN system to the World Bank,

I think we are pretty much unified

that this urgency is netted

then we need, of course the money.

I think we have made available US$12 billion

for vaccine and the deployment of the vaccines

for middle-income and low-income countries

and I think by the end of April,

we should have committed about US$2 billion.

We are working with 40+ countries on this

but as I said before, the money is great

but if you don't have the vaccines, then we have no results.

So again, go back to urgently fairness

and deployment that it needs to be.

On the deployment, I think there has been

a very effective and good cooperation

with all the agencies helping developing countries.

There is the WHO, there is UNICEF,

there is Gavi, there is the Global Fund,

there is a regional organization

like Power in Latin America.

What we need to look at is the readiness assessment,

I think we have done thus far together

about 140 and you see various degrees of readiness

and therefore, what we are doing in our operations

in coordination with WHO or UNICEF

to see how we can support countries

in the effect of implementation.

This will be a continued effort on this

as well as that we need to monitor,

that it is correctly implemented.

WHO has established a very useful priority list

who deserves first the vaccines.

We strongly urge countries to follow that advice,

so that indeed the most vulnerable get first,

the shots and then you work your way down.

What clearly is needed and is that we don't see

is readiness assessment preparedness in isolation,

but there has to be also medium-term healthcare

or health system strengthening.

And this is the longer term agenda

on which we all will have to work.

Now, coming back to you Dr. Tedros,

what are the main bottlenecks when it comes

to vaccine deployment and manufacturing?

How do we address this

at global, regional, and country levels?

Yes, so first, thank you.

There are many bottlenecks,

but the first bottleneck is that many countries

have this narrow nationalism rather

than enlightened nationalism.

That's why they're moving into vaccine nationalism.

And meaning the bottleneck here is lack of political will.

I think it is better to say it openly.

If the major countries agree to solve this problem

to address vaccine equity, they can do it.

They have everything to do it

so the political will is missing.

Then of course, if you move into other issues

with regard to manufacturing, one is,

there is excess capacity to fill and finish,

we are not using that.

So we have to identify companies

who have excess capacity to fill and finish.

The other is voluntary licensing.

There are companies hopefully who would be willing

to license their patents

or to transfer their patents voluntarily

to a specific company that they want.

Of course, there is some compensation to whatever they can ask,

but that's the second one or immediate.

The third is, as you know, we have what we call C-TAP

in WHO - it is a coordinating mechanism to pull patents

and use it as a means for technology transfer.

So that's one bottleneck that they're not using

although we have the mechanism, but it's not being used.

The fourth is lack of use of the waiver

in the intellectual property

in the TRIPS for Intellectual Property.

That's actually the elephant in the room,

that's one major bottleneck.

As you know the provisions in the TRIPS Agreement

was made to wave IP, intellectual property,

during emergencies.

We haven't seen any emergency like this in our lifetime.

If we cannot use it now, then when are we going to use it?

And so these are the major bottlenecks, but the mother

of all these bottlenecks is lack of political will

and even to the first question, weak solidarity,

weak global solidarity. Thank you.

Thank you very much.

Now, Henrietta, we hear that women and children

are bearing the greatest brunt of the pandemic.

How differently are women and children being impacted?

Anne-Marie, you are right.

Women are often the primary caregivers

both as healthcare workers, but also at home

and as a result, they are really torn in every direction.

And what happens is that women, their participation in work

and paid work is reducing around the world, it's in decline.

So we are concerned about women and their employment

and we are very concerned

about all of these services that women

and children usually access in their normal lives,

they're either not able to get to them

or the services are not available.

So as Axel and the World Bank

have been talking about world poverty,

we have another 140 million children that are likely

to fall below the poverty line with their families.

168 million children have been out of school

for more than nine months,

one out of three children do not have access

to any form of remote learning.

And you know, now Anne-Marie,

many children are getting their lessons online

either through a cell phone

or a tablet or through a radio or television

and it's very important for children

to keep getting these services

but it's not always available.

And so often it is, the woman in the household

who becomes not just a parent but a teacher.

And then it is very difficult for her

to then be out of the home and holding down a job.

We're also very worried that many children will not

come back to school, particularly girls.

So once girls are out of school, parents often think

that they could help their elders in their family

and look after them, that maybe child marriage

would be safer for them.

But it means that for every two boys returning

to a classroom, maybe only one girl will return.

So we're concerned about all of these services,

it's having an enormous impact on women and children

and we cannot trade one crisis, the pandemic

for another crisis in which we lose the women,

and the girls, and the children in our world.

And Axel, beyond addressing the ongoing health emergency,

what advice are you giving to the countries

in which you operate today

in terms of being better prepared

and increasing resilience for future crisis?

So, Henrietta powerfully summarized

the effects this crisis has had on women and girls

but, actually, one can say on whole societies

we are seeing an enormous reversal

on the progress that we have seen

over the last couple of years.

So what is clearly is that we need

to focus more on crisis preparedness.

I think this will be a prominent topic

also during the upcoming negotiation

for the IDA 20 replenishment,

we have been actually working on that,

particularly as it pertains to natural disasters

but we started also with pandemic

as a result of the Ebola pandemic.

Nevertheless, what we are seeing is that very often

these preparedness plans were on paper tigers, if you wish

they were nicely drafted on paper,

but we have to say is we clearly need to embed it

into the health system.

And ultimately we need systematic health system


This is hard work, the cameras won't be there,

but I think it is the absolute necessary part

that we have to do.

We also should not only take a narrow view on that

it is only health, it is the whole agenda best summarized

with the SDGs that we are not making progress on this,

education is a point but in many, many other areas.

So our concern is

that we have to build back better, stronger learning

and we need to keep the solidarity,

not only in the health area,

but across the development spectrum

and that this crisis has shown only together we will survive,

only together we will strive and

only together we will prosper.

Thank you very much.

Only together we will prosper.

On that, I'd like to thank all of our guests

for this enriching discussion.

[ISTANBUL, TURKEY] I am [...] in Istanbul and you're watching

World Bank Group IMF Spring Meetings

Successful global deployment

of the vaccine will have an enormous impact

on so many aspects of our lives,

let's remind ourselves of the difference it could make.




















Now let's hear from two organizations working

on the front lines of the vaccine rollout.

Executive Director of Global programs

at Save the Children UK, Gwen Hines

and Head of COVID-19 Crisis Management

for the International Committee of the Red Cross, Esperanza Martinez.

Vaccination for all is entirely possible,

if we work together.

We've made enormous progress

over the past year on vaccine development

but none of us are truly protected

until all countries have COVID under control.

And the costs of not doing this are going up every day.

For the first time in 30 years

progress on child poverty and hunger is going backwards.

An entire generation have had their learning

disrupted, and millions of children

especially girls will never go back,

so we need to act now.

And for those who say, it's too hard

to reach the last mile, I can tell you it's not.

We do it already with measles vaccinations, with meningitis,

we work on Ebola with local communities,

so please get behind the COVAX initiative with money,

donating surplus vaccines, share technology

and know-how, invest in scaling up production

in low and middle-income countries

and most of all, commit to the principle

that we should be vaccinating all vulnerable people

without discrimination, wherever they live, thank you.

I am sure that vaccination for all can happen

if we put aside borders and politics

and focus on our shared humanity.

We need to make sure that everyone

disregarding of who they are and where they leave,

have access to vaccines, not only for COVID-19

but also for other preventable diseases that every year

cause so many deaths and so much disability.

We also need to make sure

that healthcare workers and vaccinators

can carry out their jobs without being attacked.

And we need to remember finally that there are millions

of people facing humanitarian crises today

and their needs also need to be met.

My hope, my wish for 2021 is

that we collectively demonstrate that we can deliver

both in the humanitarian space and in the vaccines space.

Thank you.

If you've just joined us, welcome.

I'm Anne-Marie Dias Borges and we're discussing the rollout

of COVID-19 vaccines for developing countries.

And a reminder that you can share your comments

at any time using the #Vaccines4All.

Now, Gavi is a global vaccines alliance

any a key partner in COVAX which is

at the heart of the response to COVID-19.

I am delighted to be joined now by the Gavi CEO,

Dr. Seth Berkley.

Dr. Berkley, welcome and thank you so much

for joining us today.

Could you explain how COVAX helps low

and middle-income countries get access to COVID-19 vaccines?

Thanks so much for the question.

COVAX was set up to try to accelerate the development

and then the access of vaccines

for every country in the world.

But of course, the main thing we're focusing on here

is the work we did to try to reach lower middle-income countries,

we created the Gavi Advance Market Commitment

to serve the 92 lowest income countries

and to bring a very large portfolio of vaccines to them,

that was necessary because we knew

that there was going to be intense competition for vaccines

and therefore, we had to make sure

that those vaccines would be available.

We've now delivered more

than 30 million doses to 60 countries.

And although it took us 43 days

for the first vaccine to be used, that is much better

than in the previous pandemic of swine flu

which occurred now about a decade ago.

As you know your country Cabo Verde received its first doses

of the vaccine on the 12th of March

and although we obviously have many more countries to go

each country does really celebrate when this happens.

It's a great moment for global health for the countries

that have worked to build up their systems,

and, of course, for the people who receive this vital protection.

Thank you so much for mentioning my country there.

My dear country Cape Verde.

That first dose of vaccine was such a source of celebration

for the whole country so thank you for mentioning.

Dr. Berkley, how confident are you that low

and middle-income countries will be able to vaccinate

at least 20% of their populations by the end of this year?

So the first step, of course in doing this is having adequate finance

Donors have been very generous, we've raised US$6.3 billion so far

and we're hoping to get another US$2 billion by June.

We've been really working hard to overcome all

of the problems in supply that you've heard about

in the media and, through our diversified portfolio,

we're on track to deliver a third of a billion doses

by mid-year, and then 1.3 billion doses

by the end of the year,

so that countries can protect their most

vulnerable populations, including healthcare workers.

Of course, we believe that countries

and they want to go to a higher amount

of the population than that.

So we think that if we get adequate finance

we can actually get to 1.8 billion doses

by the end of the year.

Of course, there are still questions

on whether we just want to linearly increase

the amount of vaccine or will we need boosters

or different vaccines for the new variants

and, of course, these questions will have to be resolved.

And what are the main challenges

and opportunities that COVAX is facing

in delivering vaccines to low and middle-income countries?

Of course, during this moment is an unprecedented time,

we have to get to large amounts of the population.

To be able to do that,

we had to create new systems to deal with things

like indemnification and liability

to create a new no-fault compensation scheme

since there wasn't adequate time to deal

with the normal ways of dealing with those types of problems.

We've also had to work with countries

to be able to develop their delivery systems

to make sure they were able to move these forward.

These types of interventions are really important

but what we're hoping is that we can build them sustainably.

So they will be there in the future

to be able to deal with these systems.

At a time when there is an unprecedented demand

for vaccines, we also have to work to make sure

that manufacturers will keep to the deals they make

and make sure that these vaccines are available.

Dr. Berkley, this has been a pleasure.

Thank you so much.

Thank you, nice to talk to you.

[BUJUMBURA, BURUNDI] I am [...] in Bujumbura, Burundi.

And you are watching the World Bank Group IMF Spring Meetings.

Now frontline workers and community leaders

have been celebrated as the true heroes of these times,

risking their lives to protect ours

and helping educate, distribute and deploy vaccines.

Let's hear from some of them now

about the challenges that they face.

[ELLEN PEPRAH, DOCTOR] One of the biggest problems

we are facing is equitable access.

I believe that every healthcare professional in every part

of the country deserves access to their vaccines.

[HUMBERTO GOMEZ, DOCTOR] No country can do it alone.

So collaboration, especially in the case of vaccines

availability and distribution is key.

[KYEREMEH JOHNSON, DOCTOR] And one of the major issues with distribution

in my country will be people rejecting the vaccine.

The fear that people are harboring

due to the theories they've heard,

due to fears of complications

associated with the vaccine.

[YVETTE YEBOAH KODIEH, DOCTOR] Misconception, miscommunication and misinformation

among the general population.

So probably more education may have to go

into the vaccine distribution.

[ZHYLDYZ TOKTORBAEVA, OFFICIAL] In my opinion, in social media today,

there is so much information

- which is mostly false - about vaccination.

[NAMRATA PRADHAN, DOCTOR] By vaccinating against COVID-19,

we will be making an effort together to fight

the fear we have been living with in the past year.

[FEDIR LAPIY, IMMUNOLOGIST] We are stronger, more experienced and united.

[KHONGORZUL TOGOO, IMMUNOLOGIST] Vaccination will expedite a transition

towards our normal everyday life.

[CHRISTABEL NGWASHI, DOCTOR] Vaccines are going to change my life

because my patients will get to see my smile again

because I don't have to put on a mask.

[LUCIANA UGARRIZA, LAWYER] It means a new start, it means a second chance,

it means that we'll face the pandemic.

We must be grateful to be alive,

that means value life more because, as we know,

it can change in a blink of an eye.


So humbling and helpful to hear those perspectives.

And a timely reminder of the challenges

that we must overcome together

in order to successfully deploy COVID-19 vaccines

and get this pandemic under control.

It's clear that this challenge cannot be resolved

by any one player alone,

it will take partnerships across sectors and fields.

So how can the private sector best contribute?

That's what our next guests will help us explore.

Jrme Thill is deputy CEO of Cerba Healthcare,

which manages an international network

of clinical diagnostics laboratories

and is active across Sub-Saharan Africa

where its labs are proving a key resource

for much needed large-scale testing for COVID-19.

And Makhtar Diop managing director of the bank groups

private sector arm, the IFC.

First to you Jrme.

I understand that in 2019 Cerba significantly

expanded his presence in Africa.

Can you talk to us about what Cerba is doing

to help expand testing in developing countries

for COVID-19 and other pandemic fighting steps?

Thanks Anne-Marie, indeed Cerba has a long history

of providing specialty testing for African private

and public labs from its historic lab in Paris

based on our long parallel partnership

with Lancet Laboratories from South Africa

where we deal with clinical trials

and central lab in this country.

We decided together, in 2018,

to create a joint venture Cerba Lancet Africa

to operate and expand a network of proximity labs

to provide African population

with high standard quality testing at affordable cost.

As a result, we are now present in 13 countries

with more than 70 labs, 1500 employees

and serving more than 1.5 million individuals.

When the COVID crisis arrived in Europe last year,

we were immediately and very intensively asked to fight

against the response to this crisis

with developing a lot of PCR testing.

Simultaneously, we anticipated the outbreak

and the spread of the outbreak in Africa

and liaise immediately with our teams

on the ground to develop a war plan

in order to be able to propose PCR testing solution

to populations and authorities.

Thanks to the dedication of our colleagues

on the ground and the support from the group

for technical aspects, scientific

and also procurement issues,

we have been able to install some PCR platforms

in most of the countries where we operate

and since then we have done more than 300,000 PCR tests.

We invested, on our own, more than 2 million

during this moment.

I think that our value added

into this project is clearly to have a local presence

and to access rapidly to the population.

We also serve the medical communities

with efficient diagnostic in this field

with the appropriate turnaround time

also with an efficient pricing

and full transparency for authorities.

In the COVID pandemic we can also help,

through our local facilities and trained staff,

to boost vaccination.

And obviously this model can easily be replicated

for unfortunate other pandemic that may occur.

So one of your aims there

is to really strengthen your local presence

Jrme can you now tell us what other opportunities

you see for the private sector

in helping countries meet the healthcare needs

of their population more broadly?

So you're perfectly right, because we think

that the private sector and specifically

the long-standing players have a lot of experience

and capabilities to help improve the sanitary sector

and system in Africa.

First of all, we are convinced and we have proven

in more developed country that diagnostic

and prevention is absolutely crucial to rapidly

and with moderate financial costs improve

the access to health care for the population

and also control the pathologies development.

Second, as I already mentioned, the private sector

has a presence on the ground with easy access to patient

which are key into any sanitary policies.

We have a dense network of collection centers

and we also develop a lot of new solutions

such as point of care or mobile units

in order to expand this presence.

Third, we also have access to robust and innovative,

scientific and technical solution to provide

a high quality diagnostic to the population.

We also have very well-experience and trained teams

to find also the appropriate solution for our patients.

As private companies, we are used to invest

and to develop adapted solution

at affordable cost obviously,

provided we have a stable

and quite transparent regulation environment.

As an example, Cerba runs more than 200 labs worldwide

for hospitals, either public or private institutions.

Finally, and I think it is important,

we invest a lot in training, which is key

to increase the sanitary awareness of the populations.

At Cerba with our in-house Cerba University,

we have a pluriannual plan

to train most of our colleagues in Africa.

And also perhaps I think it's something

we will expand later on,

the private sector could also work

with the local public authorities

in the development of vaccination for the COVID outbreak.

And now to you Makhtar,

we have heard about the challenges

of getting the vaccines to people in developing countries

from your vantage point, leading IFC,

what's the role of the private sector?

And Jrme, I think, will be very interested in knowing.

So what's the role of the private sector

in helping countries meet their goals?

Thank you very much, Anne-Marie.

The role of the private sector is multiform,

first on innovation, production research, R&D

where vaccine is done from the private sector

with the support of the public sector

but a lot of the development is done by private companies,

so as I see, it is an important part.

The second one is logistics.

One thing is to produce the vaccine, to have the research,

to have those in place, another thing

is to have them in the arm of the citizens.

So all the logistics part we have seen recently

in advanced countries is a big challenge

and the private sector can play a big role

in helping and using an innovative mechanism

to be able to deliver those vaccine to the population.

The third element is to help building a resilient system.

We know that we had an outbreak like this, I was the vice-president

for Africa when we had the Ebola crisis

and I've seen firsthand how this crisis also

the epidemic had a huge impact

on the economic development in Africa

We have a crisis of a larger magnitude now,

but what is sold is that, for lots of developing countries,

the health system is not resilient enough.

So what we are doing as we are working

in addressing the short-term needs,

we are also working towards helping

building a much more resilient system.

It means that we need to think not only

about the private sector as an agent

of building the infrastructure for health services

but also to be a service provider

and change totally the model whereby

the public sector doesn't necessarily have to invest heavily

in infrastructure and equipment but to buy services

from the private sector to be able to do testing,

to do x-ray, to do a certain number of things.

Lastly, how to strengthen the value chain?

The value chain, the production chain is important to strengthen.

We realize in some countries

not only they don't have vaccine,

but they don't produce syringes, they don't have swabs,

they don't have equipment who are partnering

with support of our donor countries

to put in place a system where we can be using

the textile industry more efficiently

to be able to produce garment

and equipment to protect workers.

So there are many dimensions to what we can do

to support the health system and making much more resilient

and responding also to the short-term crisis.

And Makhtar, it is clear

that solving critical health needs such as around COVID-19

requires partnerships and innovation.

What is IFC strategy here?

We have strategies to build

on the effort of government.

For instance, recently our public sector branch,

the World Bank, provided a loan

to Cabo Verde to face the COVID crisis,

but also we would like to build on this, to build a resilient system.

So what are we doing and what can we do to accelerate it?

We need to ensure that the regulatory framework is strong enough.

When we see it is a very sensitive sector,

I am aware these investment decisions are not easy to take

and have a long-term payback period,

and this is a financial decision

which have long-term implication.

So we need to have much more certainty on the environment

for investors to be able to come, and Jrme alluded to it.

So our public sector, part of the World Bank,

is working to help governments strengthening the regulatory framework,

so we can crowd in private sector.

Secondly, we want also to bring the local private sector

to look at also the pharmaceutical industry

to be able to invest in it.

So it will be not only FDI, it'll be FDI,

but also local investors will be more

and more looking at this sector as being a sector

in which we can invest and have a high return.

So, third element is investing in skills.

This is in those labs that you mentioned,

you require very well-trained and very specialized people.

So, we could use the private sector,

as Jrme mentioned in his company to train academics

to train researchers, to train health workers,

to be able to use that equipment, to do the research

but also to combine those services

with what the government is doing to be able to pull.

So it's clear that here we are talking really

about a joint effort between government

and private sector and the space is huge.

So there's space for both private sector

and public sector to do more because medical needs

in least developed countries are huge and very important.

So it will truly require a joint effort there

and with that, I'd like to thank you both

for such an important and enlightening discussion.

Merci beaucoup.

Merci beaucoup, Anne-Marie.

[PORT VILA, VANUATU] Hello everyone.

I am [...] in Port Vila, Vanuatu

and you're watching the World Bank Group

IMF Spring Meetings.

If you have just joined us, I'm Anne-Marie Dias Borges

and we are discussing the rollout

of COVID-19 vaccines for developing countries.

I hope you've already learned something new

and for those interested in diving even deeper,

we've pulled together some key fact sheets and blogs,

just scroll down to the resources section

of our World Bank Live page

and while you're there cast your votes in our poll.

A reminder, we are asking you:

"What do you think is the most important factor

in ensuring the fair distribution of vaccines?"

Is it "A. Increasing vaccine production to meet demand"?

Or "B. "Overcoming logistical challenges

in storing and transporting vaccines?"

Or is it "C. Building trust

through education and awareness campaigns"?

We'll be sharing the results live

at the end of this event, so keep watching.

As this poll highlights, effective delivery

and health systems are an important part

of vaccine deployment.

Let's take a closer look at this challenge

and at how the World Bank Group has been responding.


[Announcer] Many vaccines need to be kept cool,

some need to be kept cold, very very cold.

From factory to patient, they need to be refrigerated

in warehouses, trucks, planes, cars, even motorbikes.

And that's just one small part

of a vast interconnected health system.

That's why the World Bank is providing 12 billion

to equitably distribute COVID-19 vaccines

with priority for those that need it most urgently

and strengthen the health systems that deliver it.

Train and equip frontline health workers

in cities, suburbs and rural communities.

Support health centers that care for patients

but also collect and share information to identify hotspots

or have insight into where infections could flare up

and make sure there is equipment training, financing

and more to be prepared,

so the next disease outbreak isn't so devastating.

Just focusing on COVID doesn't make

an effective health system.

Preventative care for people must continue

especially for women and children,

life-saving treatments for chronic conditions must continue,

other health and medical needs don't just go away.

And outreach is especially important.

From past vaccinations, we've learned that we need to inform people

and battle stigmas, misinformation and distrust.

Vaccines, testing, and treatment are vital

to turning the tide against the pandemic.

But improving health systems

will rebuild livelihoods and economies,

and hopefully make healthcare better than before.



Let's turn into our final discussion and look at

what can be done now to learn from this crises

to help developing countries respond to the next pandemic.

Are there lessons that could strengthen resilience

and help countries better prepare for future shocks?

I'm joined now by a truly esteemed panel.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is the Director General

of the World Trade Organization,

Dr. Richard Hatchet is CEO of CEPI, which stands

for the Center for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations.

Dr. Gro H. Brundtland is the Co-chair

of the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board,

former Prime Minister of Norway, as well

as former Director General of the World Health Organization.

And Mari Pangestu is Managing Director

of Development Policy and Partnerships at the World Bank.

Welcome to you all.

Ngozi first to you and congratulations on your new position

as head of the World Trade Organization.

You were selected to head the WTO in February of this year

almost one year after the pandemic began.

What do you see as the greatest economic impacts

that developing countries are bearing

during this global crisis?

Well, thank you so much

and thank you for congratulating me.

Let me just say that before we talk of economic impact,

we have to look at the health impact

because the biggest thing for economic recovery

for developing countries is getting the vaccines

that they need in order to deal with the pandemic.

I often say the biggest economic stimulus for developing countries

would be access to these vaccines, so that's the first.

But developing countries have been hit in so many ways.

Commodity exporters have faced plummeting prices,

travel and tourism for those countries that depend

on this has collapsed in many countries.

And even those well-integrated

into global value chains, they've suffered from some

of the closures of factories and borders and so on.

So there's been a lot of impact on developing countries

and as you can see, for 36 years

poverty has been declining from a figure

of about three decades now poverty has been declining.

And in 1990, 36% of people were living

in extreme poverty.

And, now in 2018 this fell quite substantially

to about 10%, and now, for the first time,

it's climbing back up and the World Bank projects

that 150 million people could fall back into poverty.

So you can see how the impact

of this has really been very dramatic.

Thank you very much.

Thank you very much also for reminding us

of the issue of poverty which you know

definitely needs to be mentioned here as well

and linked to the pandemic

especially when we're talking about Africa.

Now, Dr. Hatchett, CEPI is an organization

that helps finance research

in global public goods such as vaccines.

Can you explain the role that CEPI has been playing

during this pandemic?

Thank you.

We have played an evolving role actually in the first stages

of the pandemic last January, February, March.

We've played an important role

in initiating vaccine development programs.

We actually established our first partnerships

on January 23rd, there were fewer than 700 cases

of COVID globally at that point.

And we've ultimately established one

of the world's largest portfolios of COVID-19 vaccines.

Since last spring, we've also been focused intensively

on ensuring access to those vaccine products.

We used our investments in innovation

and R&D to create access commitments

for our partners who would then provide that vaccine

into what became the COVAX facility, which of course

I think everyone is aware is a facility

for procuring vaccine and delivering it

to all participating countries, but particularly

to those countries, the impoverished countries

that would not otherwise have access to vaccines.

Finally, in the last few months, we began to focus on

continuing our R&D investment, but thinking about

making sure that the world has access to the vaccines

that it will need to manage COVID in the long term

and to address the emerging variants

that have given so much concern recently

Thank you very much.

Allow me to turn now to you, Dr. Brundtland.

You are now Co-chair of the global

preparedness monitoring board,

which in 2019 warned that we were a world at risk.

Last year in the midst of the pandemic,

you came out with a world in disorder,

where do you see us now?

Well, we have a world of contrast.

Vaccine production has provided hope

but trust in global leadership has been eroded.

Our weak global structures and systems

for preparedness have been exposed.

In our reports we recognize that equitable access

to COVID-19 vaccines should be a crucial issue.

It's a moral imperative,

it's a public health imperative

and an economic imperative.

The rapid development of vaccines

for COVID-19 has been remarkable,

but it is all the more devastating

that while science has advanced

the world has stalled in terms of equity.

The poorest countries are seeing virtually none

of the benefits of COVID-19 vaccines.

We are stuck where we have been for 30 years,

reliving the inequitable responses

to previous emergencies.

The board called for the initial production

of COVID-19 vaccines to be allocated equitably

to all countries,

to ensure each country had enough vaccines

to cover 2% of its population,

for health workers and the most vulnerable.

This means around 300 million doses,

475 million doses have already been allocated,

yet the large majority or lower income countries

have vaccinated less than 1% of their population.

And many of the poorest countries

have yet to receive a single dose.

The lack of global mechanisms for vaccine development

and access are at the heart of the problem.

We have well-established systems

for research and development, which rely

on the incentive of IP and competition.

Securing access to countermeasures has been based

on advanced purchase agreements.

Access to countermeasures

by lower income countries have depended

on donations and development assistance,

relegating them to the bottom of the list.

Vaccine delivery continues to be determined

by economic power, production capacity,

and competition, rather than public health

unacceptable failure of global preparedness.

And I say that despite what has been done by CEPI,

which is very helpful, but not enough.

Thank you very much.

I saw a world of contrast,

very strong words there in So befitting

absolutely to what we are witnessing at the moment.

And now to Mari Pangestu.

Mari, the World Bank plays an important role

convening global institutions and countries.

How are partners coming together at the global, regional,

and country level to address the pandemic

and prepare for the future?

I'm glad you asked that question.

The World Bank is working with many partners,

and I think this has been an incredible example

of partnership starting

from preparing all the way to delivery.

We are working with WHO, UNICEF, Gavi,

Global Fund and the Gates Foundation.

So starting from the technical and conceptual level

of how do you design the readiness back

in the middle of last year

and then in November, there was an agreement of

how would you design a vaccine

readiness assessment framework

which will then be applied at the country level.

This was agreed in November,

and we also agreed that we would roll out

readiness assessments in a hundred countries

in a hundred days and we actually did it,

and that was partnership.

So, a partnership in the design

and then partnership in the assessment at the country level

with all those partners on the ground.

Of course, working with the countries

and assessing their coordination

and their planning, their targeting,

their cold chain, infrastructure readiness

their workers, the communication, the regulatory aspects

and that readiness allowed us to assess the gaps

that existed in countries

and therefore, the financing that was needed.

And then the partnership came in again on the co-financing

whether it is bilateral donors, regional development banks

multilateral development banks, grants

and how much the country also had resources.

Then, on the access for vaccines,

fair and equitable access.

Of course, we work with COVAX

to provide the first 20% of delivery

and also work with countries on other access

for above the 20%.

And then finally working with countries

to develop their national deployment

and vaccination plan on the ground and supporting them

and at the same time, looking out as

to how they would also build out

and strengthen their health systems at the same time.

And the World Bank works very closely

on the ground with UNICEF, with WHO and other partners

and also of course, with the countries themselves.

Thank you very much Mari.

Going back to you Ngozi.

Following up on what we've heard and going forward,

how can we strengthen

the global economic architecture

to better prepare against future shocks?

Well, thank you so much.

I'd like to make four points on this.

I think that the first is that,

we should have a better preparedness

and response system in place.

And when I talk about preparedness,

I'm talking about surveillance and early warning systems

whether we are talking of pandemics

or diseases or whether we are talking even

of a climate change related kind of disasters

the world needs to invest in surveillance

so that we can get early warning.

So that's the first, I think the second point is

that we should put together financing framework

that would help us deal with finance

both the preparedness part, but also finance the response

in case we somehow we don't get the one in on time.

And what is very difficult now in the world

is the fact that preparedness is probably a tiny percentage,

maybe 1% of the monies we spend on response.

If you look at the trillions

of dollars we spent in this pandemic

just responding to the health and economic issues.

If we had spent maybe a hundred or 200 billion

on preparedness before that we would have been better off.

So we need to put together a sensible financing framework.

And I think that the third point I'd like to make is

that we need to keep supply chains open, of course

coming from the trade side, I would say that

but we've seen that trade has helped us manage

this pandemic and has made the economic impact

perhaps a better able for governments to handle

than it would have been even the health impact

because we've been able to move

through trade medicines, vaccines, PPEs

from one country to the other.

So keeping supply chains open

is a very important part of the response.

So those three points, I think are vital

for us to be better prepared next time

and safeguard our economic systems better.

Thank you very much.

And when it comes to supply chains

we have seen how much Africa has suffered in many of times.

So thank you very much.

Now, back over to you, Dr. Hatchett.

What do you see as the most pressing priorities

for CEPI, as you continue to support the development

of vaccines for this particular pandemic,

but also for the accelerated development

of vaccines for future pandemic outbreaks.

Thank you.

First, I think we need to build on the accomplishments

and the improvable models

really both technical, institutional and operational

that have emerged from the pandemic.

We have compressed a decades' worth of technology

into perhaps a year.

We will emerge from the pandemic with new tools

that will allow us to prepare for the future.

We have laid out the model with COVAX

and the ACT accelerator that are improvable,

they're not perfect, but they lay the foundations

for future institutional responses.

CEPI as an organization has now laid out its own plans

for the next five years, for what we're calling CEPI 2.0

that would entail investments of about US$3.5 billion.

It would focus on strengthening our defenses

against COVID certainly, trying to take Coronavirus

as a threat class off the table,

developing vaccines, as we were prior to COVID

for known threats, like LASSA, Mers, Nipah, Ebola,

working to compress vaccine development timelines.

We delivered licensed vaccines this time in 326 days,

we'd like to shorten that to a hundred days.

Building a library of prototype vaccines

that would enable us to respond rapidly

to any future threat, establishing global networks

for clinical labs, assay's, clinical trials,

and finally supporting the efforts

of low and middle-income countries

to provide for their own national health security.

Thank you very much.

It's true that this pandemic has truly been a period

of very rapid innovation and development

of so many different new technologies

like you've just mentioned.

Going back to you Dr. Brundtland,

what do you see as the most crucial gaps

that the global community needs to address

to help ensure we are better prepared

for future health crisis?

Well, the start of the current pandemic

revealed shortcomings at all levels.

We need an international agreement in place

to support and strengthen our international institutions,

the WHO, the international financial institutions

in order to deliver on such an agreement.

Ultimately, the success of an international agreement

on pandemic preparedness and response will rely on money.

We now need to address the historic underinvestment

in preparedness.

Investments have represented a fraction

of what is required, funding in millions

what should have been in billions.

The board estimates that an additional annual investment

of US$5 per person will be needed,

with the trillion spent on the COVID-19 response

as we just heard from WTO, we are paying the price

for past sticking plaster funding.

Now we need to fund future preparedness

at the scale required.

We must develop appropriate funding and financing mechanisms

for preparedness,

which do not rely on ODA

and are predictable and sustainable.

The board quickly realized that there was a lack of mechanisms

to finance global public goods,

this must be addressed urgently.

In particular, I want to challenge the World Bank

to develop a mechanism to remedy the present inequity,

in vaccine distribution.

This future mechanism should be based on agreements

with vaccine producers and on pre-commitments

from lower and middle-income countries.

It should provide upfront financing of vaccines

to IDA eligible countries.

So that vaccines arrive at the same time as they do

in higher-income countries.

The ugly truth is that at this stage

of the COVID 19 response, we are seeing how money talks.

In the absence of appropriate global financing structures,

resources are flowing to the rich.

We will all pay the price in terms of economic damage,

global instability and a prolonged pandemic.

The world was unprepared for this catastrophe,

unless we changed our systems for financing

and allocation of global public goods

we will face the same problem in the next pandemic.

So I call on you to ensure that this does not happen.

So money is the heart of the issue here,

like it is often the case, you've mentioned preparedness

just like Ngozi had as well so we need to pay attention.

Thank you very much.

Now, going back quickly to Mari.

Mari you've talked about the important role

of global partnerships to address health emergencies.

How is the World Bank supporting countries

as they prepare themselves for future emergencies?

I like to make three points to answer your question.

I think first, we're learning a lot

as we are responding to this pandemic

and rolling out our program.

As I mentioned earlier

we already have vaccine readiness assessments

in 144 countries and we're already

deploying almost US$4 billion

in around 11 countries

and then another 40 countries in preparation.

So we're learning a lot as we are doing.

The three things I would mention

on what we've learned, first that

as we are rolling out the response to the pandemic,

we must not forget some of the priority health issues

such as making sure that health services for women,

maternal health care and so on,

and children immunization are not put

by the side as you are responding to the pandemic,

so that's one area of key importance.

Second, as we are rolling out our program

we're learning a lot on the ground

as to how you can actually

as you do your preparedness also build

out for a medium term, strengthening of the health systems

whether it's the infrastructure whether it's the training

of the health workers and a very important role

of technology the possibility to have information

on those getting vaccinated, monitoring it and so on.

I think this can really be important for the future

to prepare yourself for a future pandemic.

And many things that we learned on the ground

can be helped to use,

to be used to help develop stronger systems.

And thirdly, I think to Dr. Brundtland's point

about manufacturing capacity and supply chain

I think we're also learning a lot about that.

You know, supply chain was mentioned by Ngozi.

So I think here is where it's a combination of cooperation,

global cooperation, how do you use

a concessional funding to have certainty

and to work together with the private sector.

So the IFC arm, the private sector arm

of the World Bank has a health platform

and they are actually investing

in manufacturing capacity dedicated

for least developed countries.

So I think this is actually an area

where we all need to come together to make sure

that we can have fair and equitable access

to vaccines now, as well as obviously

in the near future for future pandemics.

Thank you very much, Mari.

And I would like to thank you all

for such an insightful discussion.

Namaste, I'm Shelupa in New Delhi

and you're watching the world Bank Group IMF Spring Meetings.

Now we are nearly at the end

of the final public event of the 2021 Spring Meetings.

We hope you've enjoyed all the sessions this week

and a reminder that you can watch them all again


You can also continue to share your feedback

on anything you've seen or heard

using the #ResilientRecovery.

And there's much more to come, in just a minute

we'll be joined by Paul Blake,

who is live in the World Bank Group's

headquarters in Washington DC.

He'll have the results of our poll

and he's also joined by the World Bank's

Vice President for Human Development

Mamta Mussi, and Stephanie Von Friedeburg,

the IFC's Senior Vice President of Operations.

They will be taking your questions and sharing their thoughts

on a fair and broad vaccine rollout in developing countries.

But first, we're going to end this session

with a very special performance.

Petit Tonton is an actor, director,

storyteller and writer from Guinea in West Africa

and he has composed a tale just for this occasion.

Now over to you Petit Tonton.


Glory to God and glory to our ancestors.

There is an ancient saying

that hope is the pillar that holds up the world.

Distinguished guests, let me tell you one of my stories:

The story of a hyena who ate nothing but meat

One day, she tasted chicken

and made a firm decision to eat only poultry.

So the hyena killed many birds

and ended up driving nearly the entire species to extinction.

One day, she was walking in the bush and saw not a single bird.

She then settled down in the shade of a large tree to rest.

Suddenly, what did she hear in the foliage above?

A goats cry...

The hyena said to herself: God Almighty!

Who can make a goat climb such a big tree?

But then, remembering her promise to eat only poultry.

she dismissed the thought and fell asleep.

A few moments later, the cries of the goat started up again.

This puzzled the hyena, who asked herself

I know that goats can climb trees, but trees of this size?

Where can this mysterious goat have come from?

She fell asleep again.

A third goat cry woke the hyena from her nap.

She got up and, being curious, raised her head.

But what did she see? A big rooster sitting on a branch.

And the hyena said to the rooster:

Hey you, bird, come down so I can eat you!

And the rooster replied:

Im not coming down today, Im not coming down tomorrow.

You, bird, I ate your father, and I ate your mother.

Come down here, so I can eat you too.

Im not coming down today, Im not coming down tomorrow.

I ate all your cousins.

Im not coming down today, Im not coming down tomorrow.

I ate your brothers and sisters.

I'm not coming down today, I'm not coming down tomorrow.

I ate your neighbors, your fellow creatures.

Im not coming down today, Im not coming down tomorrow.

Ah, but you, bird, I dont understand you.

I have just told you that I have finished off everyone in your house.

I have devoured all your hope. Oops!

As soon as the hyena said this,

the rooster jumped down from the branch

and landed in front of the hyena.

Well, there you go, youve won,

now all you can do is eat me too.

Hmmm, this attitude disturbed the hyena, who forgot about her hunger.

She asked the rooster:

"Why this sudden decision?"

And the rooster replied:

"Listen hyena,

there are people who dont have a father;

they still live, dont they?

There are people who dont have a mother;

they also live.

There are people who have no parents or friends

yet they go on living.

But when you have no hope, there is no way out.

Since you have finished destroying all my hope,

there is nothing left for you to do but to eat me too."

The hyena pondered this.

She said to herself that she, who roamed the bush all year round...

had never thought of basing her hope on someone or something.

The hyena decided to adopt the rooster as her hope,

and from that day on, when dawn breaks, the rooster alerts the hyena.

And ever since then, the hyena no longer eats roosters.

All this to say, distinguished guests, that since the appearance of Covid-19,

which has caused enormous loss of life and unprecedented crises in all areas

the whole world has been experiencing a common emotion: uncertainty.

In this situation, hope becomes the only thing

that humanity can cling to in order to resist, to survive.

Hope is what keeps us going, allowing us to get up every morning

and say that everything will be okay.

Hope that one day the vaccine will be available to everyone.

And I dare to hope that this will be the beginning of the end of this pandemic.

May the blessing of our ancestors be upon us.



And a warm welcome back to the World Bank Group headquarters in Washington, DC.

[PAUL BLAKE, WORLD BANK GROUP] Over the next half hour,

we'll be answering your questions, submitted online

revealing the results of today's poll and much more.

But first we received a special message

from his holiness Pope Francis

and we'd like to share a few extracts from his letter.

"It is my hope that our discussion

that your discussions will contribute to a model

of recovery, capable of generating new, more inclusive

and sustainable solutions to support the real economy

assisting individuals

and communities to achieve their deepest aspirations

and the universal common good.

We especially need a justly financed vaccine solidarity for

we cannot allow the law of the marketplace to

take precedence over the law of love and health of all.

Here, I reiterate my call to government leaders, businesses

and international organizations to work together

in providing vaccines for all, especially for the

most vulnerable and needy.

Relieving the burden of debt

of so many countries and communities today is

a profoundly human gesture that can help people to develop

to have access to vaccines, health, education, and jobs."

This is just a sample of what the Pope had to say.

You can read the full letter

on our website at

I am Luis Osorio Florez in Washington, DC.

and you're watching the World Bank Group

IMF Spring Meetings.

And joining us now for a live discussion

is the International Finance Corporation,

Senior Vice President of Operations, Stephanie Von Friedeburg

and the World Bank's Vice President for Human Development, Mamta Murthi.

Ladies, welcome to you both.

Thank you, Paul, good to be here.

I have a bunch of questions

people have sent in a bunch of questions about vaccines,

but first can you just get a few thoughts from you guys,

what stood out from you from the Pope's message?

Stephanie, why don't you kick us off?

Wow, Paul, I have to say it's such an honor

to have one of the world's most well-recognized

spiritual leaders way into our conversations.

It really tells me that we need

to think differently about partnerships,

they need to be conventional and unconventional to get us

out of this crisis and have a more equitable greener world.

You know, Pope Francis said we need wise solutions

and with limited fiscal space

the only way we get those wise solutions is

with the private sector.

And I really believe that IFC

and the World Bank Group are super well-placed

to help spearhead that.

Thank you, and Mamta.

Pope Francis said love and health for all,

that is such a powerful and profound message,

he also said something about ecological debt.

He said, we owe a debt to the planet

and that made me think about the fact

that the infectious disease that we face today

actually sprung from animals to humans.

And it's driven by things

like urbanization, by agriculture, by mining.

So his message is really telling us

we need to think about how we go about development,

if we want to protect ourselves and protect our planet.

So really, really meaningful message.

Thank you both.

Let's jump into some of the questions

we've received from folks online.

I am up to the first question comes from Flora Fonseca, in Brazil.

She sent this video.

Hi everyone, my name is Flora Fonseca.

I'm from Brazil and here's my question.

Could you please let me know the objectives

of the global vaccine campaign?

Thanks to Flora for sending that.

Mamta, what would you respond to Flora there?

So this is a very simple answer to Flora.

The purpose of the global vaccine campaign is to save lives

and to help everybody get back to work,

get back to school and get back to the life that they had.

Seeing friends and seeing family.

Exactly and it's not straightforward

because you need vaccines

and you need to get those vaccines into people's arms.

Now at the World Bank Group

what we're doing is we're making financing available

for the manufacturing of vaccines

and that falls under Stephanie

and for the purchase and deployment of vaccines


It's not a straightforward business,

you've got to manufacture the vaccine

you've got to transport it.

You typically have to keep it cool.

And then you've got to get it

to a good clean clinic that people want to go to.

And then you need to record the information

that they've received the vaccine.

So that's, that's the whole process.

And what our resources are doing is

they're helping countries purchase the vaccines

and distribute the vaccines.

We have a big facility, it's US$12 billion.

It's a lot of money, so

that countries can actually get the vaccines

and put them into people's arms.

and we've actually committed a fair amount

of those resources already, including in countries

in Latin America in Flora's neighborhood.

It's a really complicated process

to get those vaccines in people's arms.

And Stephanie, the next question comes from Sammy

and they're writing on World Bank Live, and they say:

"How are we going to ensure that those without proper access to health care,

either due to physical constraints

or financial constraints will get vaccinated?"

And how can institutions like the IFC help ensure access

to vaccines for everyone, everywhere?

It's a good question, Paul.

And it's a really hard question.

-It's a big question.

First of all, I would say globally,

it's a race against time.

The faster that we inoculate humankind

the less likely it is

that some dangerous variant of the COVID virus emerges.

So we are in a race against time and it gives me pause

that of the 400 million or so vaccines

that are in circulation,

90% of those have gone

to the high income and middle-income countries.

There are 36 countries today

in the world that haven't received one dose of vaccine.

So what can IFC do about it?

I think we learned very early

in the crisis that the private sector was needed

and really needed to step up.

And we saw it first in medical supplies

so there was a shortage of equipment,

there was a shortage of PPE,

there was a shortage of pharmaceuticals like therapeutics.

We saw, for example, in the Central African Republic

there were 3 ventilators.

I mean, to put that in comparison

there are 275,000 ventilators in the United States.

So what did we do?

We created a global health platform,

we work together with our Board to come up with a unique

one of a kind platform, US$4 billion

for us to invest in equipment PPE, things like that.

And at the very tail end of those conversations

we tacked on vaccines just in case.

And then we started to see the need

for increased production of vaccines globally

and especially for our countries of operations.

And interestingly as Mamta said it's complex.

So it's not just the vaccine itself

it's the cap and fill facilities,

it's the raw materials that go into making a vaccine.

I mean, remember we have never tried

to inoculate the entire planet as fast as we are right now.

So what we're seeing is breakages across the supply chain

everywhere, there are shortages of vials

there is shortages of needles,

there is shortages of sterile saline,

there is shortages of storage bags.

So we're using our global health platform

to invest in all of those things.

As an example, very recently

we invested in a company called Biological E.

So BioE is a pharmaceutical company

in India that makes vaccines and through our facility

they were able to increase their production

and will now make Johnson and Johnson vaccines for the world,

which is a great vaccine because it requires one dose

and it doesn't require as much cold storage,

so very cool.

They're also working on their own vaccine

which is going to be really low cost

and will help us get more vaccines into people's arms.

And then the third piece that we're working on

is distribution because just like we were sort of hit

with the shortage of equipment

and then hit with the shortage of vaccines.

As these vaccines come into production,

we got to find the most effective and

efficient way to get them distributed.

So we've released an RFP

and it's really a competition of sorts to say-

- When you ask people to send their ideas.

Send your ideas, give us the most innovative idea

to get distribution out as fast as possible.

And I'm really excited to see what we come up with.

Then we're supporting companies like Imperial Logistics,

which is a South African company

that's building a network

of clinics and nurses across Africa.

So there's just so much we need to do but you know me,

if there's a silver lining in all of this,

one of the things that I think is most important

is we've really shown a light on the need

for technology transfer into our countries of operation.

We need to ensure that going forward

emerging market countries can produce their own vaccines

and create better health systems for the next pandemic.

And thanks to Sammy for sending that question.

The next one comes from Basadi Tamplin

and they're writing from Botswana and they ask how

can the international community ensure vaccine governance

so that there is an equitable and ethical distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.

Mamta what would you tell Basadi?

I would say that there's two aspects

of equitable distribution.

There is distribution of vaccines across countries

and there is distribution of vaccines within countries.

Let's start with the within countries.

Within countries, there needs to be a plan which prioritizes

who is going to get the vaccine first and at the World Bank,

along with WHO, we say it should be healthcare workers

and people who are the most vulnerable

and likely to get infected,

and there can be a death after that.

It's very important that this plan be transparent

that it be known and it's this plan

that needs to be monitored.

And this is where civil society,

the media and so on come in because they,

can then follow whether things

are going according to plan.

Some accountability.

Exactly and the private sector

is very important for distribution.

Many countries have discovered that they can't just

they aren't set up for the public sector

to do this on its own.

Now, what we have said is that under our projects

it's very important that governments announce these plans,

these are transparent and that these are monitored.

So let me give you an example in the case of Lebanon

which we are supporting, we have the international Red Cross

and Red Crescent society that is actually,

monitoring the government's vaccine distribution plan.

And in fact, they did step in when they discovered

that vaccine distribution wasn't going according to plan

and so the system actually worked.

That's just within countries,

Now let's come to across countries.

And that's the issue that Stephanie was referring to.

Unfortunately, we are in a situation where the majority

of vaccines that are being distributed

at the moment are being distributed in rich countries

and we're not safe until everyone is safe.

And that's why the World Bank Group have been advocating

for fair distribution of vaccines across the world.

And we've been raising this at the highest level,

we raised it with Pope Francis

and we got this excellent reply from him.

So in addition to advocating along with other agencies

for equitable distribution of vaccines

we have also been supporting manufacture

because distributed regionally distributed manufacture

is another aspect of having vaccines for all.

And finally, if I can just say

while are we talking about this pandemic,

we mustn't forget that we could

have another pandemic coming around the corner.

And this is where I wanted to tie it back to

this point about ecological debt.

I think the best vaccine for future pandemics

is that we manage the resources of this planet well

and we think about how we're urbanizing

how we're doing agriculture, how we're doing mining

because essentially, we are living cheek by jowl,

if I can say that, with animals

from whom we're getting all these infections.

So if we manage the planet's resources

and we manage development well

we will have a vaccine against future pandemics.

You're talking about the future,

and Stephanie, just as we wrap up, looking ahead,

when we soak it in the past,

I always think of you as someone who is a big proponent

of technology for development.

Looking ahead, what role will technology play

in not just the climate part and the ecological part

but strengthening health care systems in countries?

Paul, you know me too well [laughs].

If there's a second silver lining it's technology

and I start with the virus itself and the vaccine

and I need to look no further than programs like "Warp Speed",

where we were capable of creating a vaccine in nine months.

And what makes me most excited

about it is the new technologies that we're using.

The mRNA technology, in my view, gives us the opportunity

to look at the vaccine landscape and ask ourselves:

"Can we actually tackle the 20 or 30 viruses

that have plagued us?" Think about a virus for Zika.

So vaccines is the first place,

the second place is telemedicine.

I mean, telemedicine has exploded as a result of the virus.

And we see, for example, in the United States

there's one doctor for every 385 people.

In Africa, there is one doctor for every 4,220 people.

So we can use telemedicine to help solve that problem.

We estimate that it'll grow at a rate

of about 19% a year coming out of the crisis

and even faster in emerging markets.

We have a clinic that we've invested

in Mexico that actually has diabetes clinics

all done now via telemedicine.

One of my favorite companies

in the world is this little company called Tricog

which uses AI and telemedicine to take care

of cardiovascular diseases in India.

And actually since they started

they have saved 170,000 lives.

- That's incredible. - It's incredible, huh.

Then finally, there's drones Paul.

And again, we have talked a bit about distribution

of vaccines, companies like Zipline can help us with that.

And we estimate that you can save as much as 50%

of the cost of distribution by using drones.

So "tech by tech",

I really believe we can make the health systems

of the world better.

Fantastic, this has been a great conversation.

I'm really grateful to both of you for taking the time today.

Stephanie von Friedeburg and Mamta Murthi.

[SUVA, FIJI] - Hi, I am Vika in Fiji, and you're watching

the World Bank Group IMF Spring Meetings.

Well, let's get the youth perspective on vaccines.

For the past few weeks we've been receiving videos

from youth leaders, thinkers and activists

from around the world

and today we hear from Eremutha in Nigeria

Rima in Jordan and Deepasri in India.



[DEEPASRI BHARATHAN] Educate, the youth must create awareness responsibly

and accurately about the effect of the pandemic

on physical and mental health, and the rules to be followed.

[RIMA AL HASAN] Young people have the ability and the creativity

to come up with new solutions that could be targeted

for solving social problems or serving the community.

Governments require both support and criticism

on their policies for recovery

and the youth can offer both using all the platforms

at their disposal, especially social media.

[EREMUTHA STEPHANIE TOBORE] There are lots of myths and misconceptions about COVID-19 vaccine.

So in my own opinion, if these youths are actively involved

in the COVID-19 vaccine distribution administration process,

they will provide and they will act as influencers,

providing relevant information that will debunk

these myths and misconceptions,

thereby promoting youth compliance

and the acceptance of this COVID-19 vaccine.

The youth has the time and the energy

to come up with ideas and mechanisms

to help us recover and rise stronger.


Well, joining me back on set is my colleague

Srimathi Sridhar, fourth and final day

we've been asking polls all week,

what is today's poll?

Alright, Paul, so today's poll asks:

"What do you think is the most important factor

in ensuring the fair distribution of vaccines?"

And there were four choices.

First, is it increasing vaccine production to meet demand?

Is it overcoming logistical challenges

and storing and transporting vaccines?

Is it building trust through education awareness campaigns

or is it expanding vaccine access to low

and middle-income countries?

- Tell us how people voted?

All right, well, with 43.5% of votes the top answer was

"expanding vaccine access to low and middle-income countries",

followed by "increasing vaccine production

to meet demand" at 28.2%,

"building trust through education awareness campaigns"

at 16.6%, and "overcoming logistical challenges

in storing and transporting vaccines" at 11.7%.

- To let you know

I don't know how I would vote because all

of these seems so important. - They are really good options.

- And I mean, I remember back talking to a Muhammad Patay

one of our health leaders here

and talking about the logistical challenges

back in the fall.

So there's so many other challenges, it is very complicated.

- It is very hard to pick.

So it is a tough one.

Well, let's do this,

let's have another country profile all this week

[COUNTRY SPOTLIGHT ON PHILIPPINES] we've been profiling the individual challenges

and triumphs of individual countries

when it comes to climate challenges and action,

and today we are going to hear from the Philippines.

It's a country comprised of 7,000 islands

each of which is home to these incredible ecosystems.

Yes, and it's from the capital city of Manila

that I caught up with Country Director Ndiame Diop

start off by asking him what some

of the nation's climate challenges are,

and how they are responding to it.

The location in the ring of fire means

that the country is very highly exposed

to climate change and natural disaster.

So every year we have about 20 cyclones operating

in the area of the Philippines

and about seven to nine of them would land,

[NDIAME DIOP, COUNTRY DIRECTOR/BRUNEI, MALAYSIA, PHILIPPINES AND THAILAND] and when they do, they create a lot of disruptions

in the economy, creating congestion,

creating flooding, so on, and really impacting

welfare of the population.

- Well, let's talk about, COVID-19 a little bit more

what is the World Bank doing

to help Philippines recover from the pandemic?

- The Bank has stepped up very quickly

when the pandemic started to support the Philippines

respond to the COVID-19 shock

and we'