The European Union has allocated an additional €500 million to the COVAX facility, bringing its total contribution to €1 billion
President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen has announced that the EU has doubled its contribution to the COVAX facility to €1 billion.
The extra €500 million funding accelerates COVAX’s target to deliver 2 billion COVID-19 by the end of 2021.
Low and middle-income countries
To date, a total of 191 countries participate in the COVAX Facility, 92 of which have low/middle-income economies.
In Pakistan, 8.5 million lives will be protected from the virus through COVAX, which will aim to deliver 17 million doses of the Oxford University-Astra-Zeneca vaccine over the coming months.
The contribution is composed of a new €300 million EU grant and €200 million in guarantees by the European Fund for Sustainable Development plus (EFSD+) that will back a loan by the European Investment Bank.
Ursula von der Leyen, said: “Last year, as part of our Coronavirus Global Response, we committed to ensuring universal access to vaccines everywhere on Earth, for everyone who would need them. COVAX is best placed to help us reach this goal. This is why we decided to double the European Commission’s contribution to COVAX, to €1 billion. With this new financial boost we want to make sure vaccines are soon delivered to low and middle-income countries. Because we will only be safe if the whole world is safe.”
Jutta Urpilainen, Commissioner for International Partnerships, added: “We are in a race against the virus and COVAX is our best hope that all our partners, in Africa and elsewhere, have access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines. The EU has been leading efforts in international fora, such as the G20 and G7, to guarantee that collectively we ensure that COVID-19 vaccines become a global public good. This is why today we are doubling our support to COVAX.”
Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, stressed: “Humanism and solidarity are essential values for Europe. These values have been our compass since the onset of the pandemic. The EU has invested close to €3 billion to pre-finance the production of safe and effective vaccines, which will benefit not only the EU but citizens across the world. Vaccines produced in Europe are now going all over the world and we as Team Europe are working to share doses secured under our advanced purchase agreements preferably through COVAX with the Western Balkans, Neighborhood and Africa – benefitting above all health workers and humanitarian needs.”