European Union, EU launches €100 million humanitarian initiative to support COVID-19 vaccination campaigns in Africa, it was learnt.
The EU already played a leading role in setting up the COVAX Facility, the global initiative that allows high-income countries to fund vaccines for low and middle-income countries and where Team Europe is one of the leading donors, with over €2.2 billion.
The €100 million initiative is part of the European Commission’s efforts to ensure equitable and fair access to safe and effective vaccines to all, as announced by the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, at the G7 meeting in February 2021.
By joining forces with the Africa CDC and other international partners, the European Commission aims to support a fast and safe rollout of Covid-19 vaccines in Africa.
Following his meeting with the Head of the Africa CDC, Dr. John Nkengasong, Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič, stressed: “I am delighted to announce today the start of a new chapter in the EU’s partnership with the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. This additional EU funding in support of the rollout of vaccination campaigns against the coronavirus pandemic in Africa will help to ensure that no one is left behind, including people in hard-to-access humanitarian crisis settings. I look forward to an even closer cooperation with the Africa CDC in the future, to strengthen our readiness and efficient preparedness to respond together to the challenges of tomorrow.”
This EU initiative, with a steering role of the Africa CDC, will support two complementary dimensions of the vaccination campaigns in Africa: One track of indicative €25 million in funding will aim to support the rollout of the vaccination campaign in African countries.
The EU explained that the support includes capacity building of national health authorities and health care workers as well as the support to managing the information and coordination platform on vaccination. It will also address critical logistical gaps, including equipment. This implementation at country and continental level will ensure better and independent monitoring of the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination campaigns across Africa, supporting Africa CDC’s ongoing work. From a long-term perspective, it would also seek to reinforce national health systems’ resilience to address future epidemic outbreaks. The second track of an indicative €65 million in funding aims to support the rollout of vaccination campaigns in specific humanitarian settings, notably in conflict and hard-to-reach areas, implemented through needs-specific activities, in close cooperation with various EU humanitarian partners. A further €10 million is in reserve, to be allocated to any of two tracks as needed.