Team Europe has announced the availability of $500 million in financial support to help obtain fair and equitable access to a successful global Covid-19 vaccine initiative for Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Pacific, and in Europe's eastern and southern neighbourhood
The European Union (EU) said in a statement that Team Europe's engagement will scale up global efforts to bring the coronavirus pandemic under control and accelerate distribution of a successful vaccine as soon as it becomes available.
For its part, the European Investment Bank (EIB) said that it has agreed €400 million in financing to support the participation of low and middle income economies in the COVAX Advance Market Commitment (COVAX AMC).
The EU’s statement added that the approved financing is guaranteed by the European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD) and comes alongside €100 million in grant support from the European Commission for COVAX AMC, to support access to safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines in 92 low and middle-income countries.
This enables COVAX to accelerate up-front investment essential to delivering vaccine doses as soon as they become available, according to the statement.
President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen stated that the Commission and the EIB together with the EU Member States and Team Europe have so far allocated more than €850 million to COVAX, which makes the EU COVAX's biggest donor, adding that the Commission and EIB combined support of €500 million will enable COVAX to make one billion doses of the vaccine available as rapidly as possible to people in low and middle income countries.
Jutta Urpilainen, commissioner for international partnerships, said that the EU's €100 million grant and the €400 million EIB loan, backed by the EFSD, "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. This funding is a tremendous boost as we look to raise at least an additional $5 billion in 2021 to ensure equitable distribution of these vaccines to all those who need them,” according to Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.
Vaccines will be procured and delivered by UNICEF and the Pan-American Health Organisation (PAHO) on behalf of COVAX, according to EU and EIB statements.