EU to support Covid-19 vaccination strategies and capacity in Africa

Countries with critical humanitarian needs and fragile health systems will be propped up

Photo: EU Ursula von der Leyen.

At the G7 videoconference Friday afternoon, EC President Ursula von der Leyen, has announced €100m in humanitarian assistance to support the rollout of vaccination campaigns in Africa, which are spearheaded by the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC).

This funding, which is subject to the agreement of the budgetary authority, will support the vaccination campaigns in countries with critical humanitarian needs and fragile health systems.

It will contribute to ensuring the cold chains, roll-out registration programmes, training of medical and support staff as well as logistics, among others. This money comes on top of €2.2bn provided by Team Europe to COVAX.

We've always been clear that the pandemic won't end until everyone is protected globally, von der Leyen said, pointing out that the EU stands ready to support the vaccination strategies “in our African partners with experts and deliveries of medical supplies at the request of the African Union”.

“We are also exploring potential support to boost local production capacities of vaccines under licensing arrangements in Africa. This would be the fastest way to ramp up production everywhere to the benefit of those that most need it.”

The EU also has a range of instruments at its disposal, such as the EU Humanitarian Air bridge, the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, and the EU's humanitarian budget. These tools have been used extensively in the context of COVID-19 to deliver crucial material and logistical assistance to partners in Africa.

The Commission is also currently exploring opportunities to support African countries in the medium term to establish local or regional production capacity of health products, in particular vaccines and protective equipment. This support will come under the new Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) and the European Fund for Sustainable Development plus.

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