Europe doubles contribution to COVAX for vaccines to poorer countries

The new input is composed of a €300m grants and €200m in guarantees by the European Fund for Sustainable Development Plus

Photo: EU EC Berlaymont Building in Brussels.

The EU has announced on Friday an additional €500m for the COVAX Facility, doubling its contribution to date for the global initiative that is leading efforts to secure fair and equitable access to safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines in low and middle-income countries. 

This new pledge brings closer to COVAX's target to deliver 1.3 billion doses for 92 low and middle income countries by the end of 2021. Team Europe is one of the lead contributors to COVAX with over €2.2bn, including another €900m pledged today by Germany.

Announcing the new contribution at the G7 virtual leaders' meeting, President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said that last year, as part of our Coronavirus Global Response, the EU 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 €1bn. 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,” von der Leyen detailed.

The new contribution is composed of a new €300m EU grants and €200m in guarantees by the European Fund for Sustainable Development plus (EFSD+) that will back a loan by the European Investment Bank. This is subject to the adoption of the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) by the Council and the European Parliament. The EIB loan to be guaranteed by EFSD+ is subject to the approval of the EIB's Board of Directors. These funds will complement a previous €100m grant and €400m in guarantees from the EU budget.

To date, a total of 191 countries participate in the COVAX Facility, 92 of them low and middle-income economies eligible to get access to COVID-19 vaccines through Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC). Most of these are in Africa. Through these contributions, the Commission and its partners will secure purchase options for future COVID-19 vaccines for all the participants in the facility.

Vaccines will be procured and delivered to countries by the UNICEF Supply Division and the PAHO's Revolving Fund for Access to Vaccines. 

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