EU doubles contribution to COVAX to €1bn

The European Union has announced an additional €500 million 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 us closer to achieving 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 €2.2 billion, including another €900 million pledged today by Germany.

President of the European Commission, 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.”

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.

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 €100 million grant and €400 million 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.

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