The East Asia and Pacific region, excluding China, is expected to grow 4% this year, World Bank President David Malpass said on Thursday, down from a 4.4% forecast in March and with the pace of the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines a risk to the outlook.
Including China, the World Bank expects the region to grow 7.7% this year, above a 7.4% projection made in March, Malpass said in a streamed news conference.
The speed by which nations could roll-out vaccines remained a risk to the outlook, with many countries in the region unlikely to be able to fully vaccinate their population until 2024, Malpass said.
"The immediate priority for developing countries is widespread access to COVID-19 vaccines that match their deployment programmes," Malpass said.
Malpass again urged advanced economies to give up excess doses of COVID-19 vaccines for developing countries that are facing greater needs.
Earlier this month, the World Bank announced it was raising total financing for COVID-19 vaccine purchases and deployment to $20 billion from its previous target of $12 billion.