The European Union has announced today it will contribute an additional €100 million in grant funding to support the COVAX Facility to secure access to the future COVID-19 vaccine in low and middle-income countries. The funds will complement the €400 million in guarantees the EU already committed for COVAX, making the Union one of the leading donors. With this new contribution, the EU is further stepping up investment in support of the global recovery.
At the virtual Paris Peace Forum, where world leaders and international organizations are discussing the global response and the recovery from the pandemic, President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said: “In the midst of the wrecking COVID-19 pandemic, it is clear that a global recovery will only be possible if safe and effective vaccines are available to all who need it. The EU is increasing its support to the COVAX Facility to this end and I am proud that Team Europe is a leading contributor to COVAX. Together, we can make the global recovery happen.”
Jutta Urpilainen, Commissioner for International Partnerships, said: “The EU is demonstrating we are serious about our commitments to leave no one behind and make the COVID-19 vaccine a global public good. With this additional €100 million in grant funding, the EU join forces with international partners, in a spirit of solidarity and multilateralism, and will help secure purchase options for future COVID-19 vaccines for those who need it the most in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific countries.”
Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, said: “Of all the lessons we have learned this year, the clearest is that there is strength in solidarity. COVAX is an example of this. With this additional contribution we are one step closer to the objective of funding the purchase of 2 billion vaccines for the most vulnerable populations in 92 low and middle-income countries. But more support will be required next year to produce and distribute a safe and efficacious vaccine across the world as soon as it becomes available. We will not relent in this effort.”
The proposed allocation of €100 million from the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) general reserve will adopt the form of a grant contribution to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, as administrator of COVAX Facility, the world’s facility for universal and fair access to COVID-19 vaccines.
To date, a total of 184 countries participate in the COVAX Facility, being 92 of them low and middle-income economies eligible to get access to COVID-19 vaccines through Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC). Through this grant, the Commission and its partners will secure purchase options for future COVID-19 vaccines for all the participants in the Facility, including African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries.
This grant support will strategically complement the €400 million of bank guarantees the EU will make available to Gavi through the European Investment Bank (EIB) in the framework of the European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD), raising the total EU contribution for COVAX to €500 million. The €400 million guarantee was also signed this Thursday.
Several EU Member States are contributing as well to COVAX and its underlying objectives, highlighting another example of the power of Team Europe, that is mobilising more than €870 million for COVAX, including the €100 million in EU grant and €400 million in guarantees. The figure also includes new contributions announced today by France (€100 million), Spain (€50 million) and Finland (€2 million).
Vaccines will be procured and delivered to countries by UNICEF Supply Division and the PAHO’s Revolving Fund for Access to Vaccines.