Increased Multilateral Support for COVAX Vaccine Deliveries

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

The EIB says it is in discussions with Gavi, the vaccine alliance, about new financing to further scale up access to Covid-19 vaccines.

Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank (EIB), on April 15 highlighted the crucial need to increase financial support to ensure access to Covid-19 vaccines in low and middle-income countries around the world through the COVAX initiative.

During his address to the One World Protected gathering of world leaders, private sector, civil society and key technical partners, hosted by Gavi and the United States government, President Hoyer confirmed that the EIB is expected to increase support for COVAX to EUR 600 million. The EIB says it is the only multilateral financing institution providing financial backing to COVAX. 

“The European Investment Bank welcomes the strong support of the United States for COVAX, and the renewed commitment of the US administration to find and promote multilateral solutions to global issues,” said Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank.

Over the last year, the EIB has worked with global partners to ensure a rapid and targeted response to Covid-19. Last December, as part of Team Europe, the EIB provided EUR 400 million of financing to COVAX that accelerated up-front investment and already enabled vaccine deliveries to more than 100 countries. 

The EIB says it stands ready to increase support for COVAX alongside enabling procurement of additional Covid-19 vaccines and to strengthen vaccine manufacturing, diagnostics and public health in low and middle-income countries.” 

Since the start of the pandemic the EIB has approved more than EUR 40 billion of new financing to support vaccine development, public health and economic resilience to Covid-19 across Europe and around the world.

Last December, the EIB agreed €400 million of financing to support the participation of low and middle-income economies in COVAX Advance Market Commitment (COVAX AMC) and accelerate up-front investment essential to deliver vaccine doses as soon as they become available. This represented the EIB’s largest ever support for global public health.

The rapidly approved EIB financing, guaranteed by the European Fund for Sustainable Development and alongside €100 million grant support from the European Commission to COVAX AMC, is already supporting access to Covid-19 vaccines in 92 low and middle-income countries. The European Commission is also expected to increase grant support for COVAX.

The EIB says it is in discussions with Gavi, the vaccine alliance, about new financing to further scale up access to Covid-19 vaccines by high-risk and vulnerable populations in low and middle-income countries.

COVAX, the vaccines pillar of the Access to Covid-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, is co-convened by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance Gavi) and the World Health Organization (WHO) – working in partnership with UNICEF as key implementing partner, developed and developing country vaccine manufacturers, the World Bank, and others.

It is said to be the only global initiative that is working with governments and manufacturers to ensure Covid-19 vaccines are available worldwide to both higher-income and lower-income countries.

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Rakesh Raman