World Bank threatens to cut Lebanon's funding for Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine

WION Web Team
Beirut, Lebanon Published: Feb 24, 2021, 12:23 PM(IST)

Pfizer-Lebanon coronavirus vaccine Photograph:( Reuters )

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Lebanon had received $34 million from World Bank which had helped Lebanon collect nearly 60,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine this month

The World Bank has threatened to suspend its multi-million-dollar financing for Lebanon's coronavirus vaccine programme if the politicians keep jumping the line.

Local media and officials of Lebanon have claimed that several lawmakers jumped the line for the coronavirus vaccines by getting shots in parliament on Tuesday. 

This has come as the locals, especially the priority and vulnerable groups, are struggling to get a shot of the vaccine amid an extended surge of cases.

Also read| Lebanon starts mass inoculation drive

Lebanon had received $34 million from World Bank which had helped Lebanon collect nearly 60,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine this month.

The World Bank had been closely monitoring the vaccine rollout to ensure the doses are first given to the healthcare workers and the vulnerable groups such as the elderly. However, with the reports of ministers receiving the doses first, the World Bank is reconsidering its fund allocation. 

"Upon confirmation of violation, World Bank may suspend financing for vaccines and support for COVID-19 response across Lebanon!!," said the World Bank’s regional director Saroj Kumar Jha. "I appeal to all, I mean all, regardless of your position, to please register and wait for your turn."

Local media has claimed several doses of the vaccine were sent to the Parliament where ministers were administered the Pfizer shot without any media coverage. However, the government has not confirmed or denied this allegation yet.

The confirmation, as per the media, about this incident came when Deputy parliament speaker, Elie Ferzli, tweeted saying he has received a shot.

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