The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) Board of Directors has approved a USD50-million loan under its COVID-19 Crisis Recovery Facility (CRF) to help Cambodia procure vaccines in line with its rapid COVID-19 vaccination efforts for vulnerable communities.
The project will enable the government of Cambodia to procure about 14.5 million doses of eligible COVID-19 vaccines to benefit an estimated 10.12 million people, including adults and teenagers who need booster shots, and children under five who will receive their initial course of vaccination.
“This project aligns with AIIB’s commitment to supporting its Member’s respond to the COVID-19 pandemic by financing their immediate health sector needs,” said AIIB Vice President, Investment Operations (Region 1) Urjit R. Patel. “AIIB’s contribution will provide urgently needed financing to support the Cambodian government’s broader objective to enhance population immunity. In addition, the project will further build up the partnership between AIIB and Cambodia to help relieve the country’s public health pressure challenges and facilitate its economic and financial recovery.”
Cambodia launched its vaccination campaign in February 2021. Despite the country’s early efforts to enhance surveillance, build capacity for testing, and implement containment measures, it remains highly vulnerable to a surge in new infections. Cofinanced with the Asian Development Bank, the financing forms part of the coordinated action by multilateral development banks to contain the pandemic through vaccine procurement and rollout.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed weaknesses in public health systems across the world and AIIB has swiftly responded to these challenges. The pandemic has also hastened AIIB’s engagement in the health sector. This financing is the second loan extended to Cambodia under the CRF, the first one being for the National Restoration of Rural Productive Capacity Project for a total of USD110 million.
Earlier this year, AIIB extended the CRF till end-2023, bringing its total CRF financing from USD13 billion up to USD20 billion. AIIB has approved 47 CRF projects amounting to over USD11.6 billion in 25 members.