World Bank President David Malpass on Saturday congratulated India on a successful vaccination campaign against the COVID-19 pandemic as he met Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and thanked her for India's international role in vaccine production and distribution.
In a meeting with Sitharaman here, Malpass reaffirmed the Washington-based international financial institution's strong commitment to India across all World Bank Group entities, including the International Finance Corporation and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency.
They also discussed India's efforts on climate change action, emphasising the need for scaling up climate finance for impactful projects in line with Nationally Determined Contributions and development goals, the World Bank said in a statement. Malpass congratulated Sitharaman on India's COVID-19 vaccination campaign and thanked her for India's international role in vaccine production and distribution, it said.
India, the world's largest producer of vaccines overall, suspended exports of COVID-19 vaccines in April to focus on inoculating its own population following a sudden spike in infections. Last month, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya announced that India will resume the supplies abroad.
According to the World Bank statement, president Malpass also expressed his appreciation for India's historical support for the International Development Association and reiterated to Sitharaman the need for a robust IDA20 replenishment. Malpass also complimented India's efforts toward financial reform and offered the World Bank to host round table discussions and provide operational support, the statement added.
In New Delhi, Mandaviya on Saturday said that India will cross the landmark of 100-crore COVID-19 vaccine doses next week. Till this evening, as many as "97.23 crore have been administered the first dose of Covid vaccine in the country", he said.
The vaccines administered suggest about 70 per cent of the population getting at least one dose and about 30 per cent of the population has got two doses, he said. COVID-19 infections are decreasing in India, with 15,981 new infections reported in a day, according to official data on Saturday. That's 4 per cent of the peak - the highest daily average reported on May 9 this year.