Team Europe Contributes €500 Million to COVAX Initiative

Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank. Photo: EIB
Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank. Photo: EIB

This rapidly approved financing will support access to safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines in 92 low and middle-income countries.

Fair and equitable access to a successful Covid-19 vaccine for people across Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Pacific, and in Europe’s eastern and southern neighborhood, has been enabled by €500 million of new European financial support for the global vaccine initiative COVAX.

Team Europe’s engagement is aimed to accelerate global efforts to bring the pandemic under control and scale up distribution of a successful vaccine as soon as it becomes available.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) agreed on December 15 for €400 million of financing to support the participation of low and middle income economies in COVAX Advance Market Commitment (COVAX AMC).

This rapidly approved financing, guaranteed by the European Fund for Sustainable Development and alongside €100 million grant support from the European Commission to COVAX AMC, will support access to safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines in 92 low and middle-income countries.

This enables COVAX, a multilateral initiative aimed at ensuring global fair and equitable access, to accelerate up-front investment essential to deliver vaccine doses as soon as they become available.

“This vital funding from the European Commission and the European Investment Bank ensures that lower income economies are not left behind when a safe and effective Covid-19 vaccine is available. Team Europe’s support will play a vital role in ending the acute phase of this pandemic,” said Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. “This funding is a tremendous boost as we look to raise at least an additional US$ 5 billion in 2021 to ensure equitable distribution of these vaccines to all those who need them.”

New European Union financing for COVAX will secure access to safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines for high-risk and vulnerable populations alongside front-line health workers in low and middle income countries at the same time as vaccines are procured for self-financing economies, including the European Union.

“It is a moral imperative that no country should be excluded from access to Covid-19 vaccines because of costs,” said President of the European Investment Bank Werner Hoyer.

Vaccines will be procured and delivered by UNICEF and the Pan-American Health Organisation (PAHO) on behalf of COVAX.

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Rakesh Raman