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Countries pledge nearly US$ 1 billion to support equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance has welcomed pledges made this week in support of the Gavi COVAX AMC, a financing mechanism that will support 92 low- and middle-income countries’ access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines. The approximately US$958 million in commitments made by the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Italy and Sweden this week, mean that nearly US$ 1.7 billion has been raised for the Gavi COVAX AMC so far, thanks to contributions from other sovereign donors, the private sector, and philanthropic sources. The urgent fundraising ask for the COVAX AMC is US$ 2 billion by the end of 2020 to reserve and access 1 billion doses for AMC-eligible economies, with at least US$ 5 billion needed in 2021 to procure doses as they come through the portfolio.

The announcements come on the heels of 76 high-income countries joining the COVAX Facility, a global effort to ensure rapid and equitable access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines for the most vulnerable groups across the world. These 76 self-financing participants in the COVAX Facility will join the 92 low- and middle-income economies eligible to have their participation in the Facility supported by the Gavi COVAX AMC. 

“Gavi is the leading funding partner for vaccination and one of the most significant funding partners for the health sector in Niger,” said His Excellency, Issoufou Mahamadou, President of the Republic of Niger. “I would like to reiterate my support to Gavi and applaud the COVAX initiative as a way to assure universal and fair access to the COVID-19 vaccine.” 

The details of the Gavi COVAX AMC pledges received this week are as follows:

  • The United Kingdom pledged up to £ 500 million (approximately US$ 640 million) to the Gavi COVAX AMC. This commitment includes £1 in matched funding for every US$ 4 committed by others, to an amount up to £250 million. This is in addition to an earlier US$ 61 million pledged by the United Kingdom for the COVAX AMC at the Global Vaccine Summit on June 4, bringing the total contribution to US$ 701 million.
  • Canada pledged CAD 220 million (approximately US$ 166 million) to the Gavi COVAX AMC. This amount is in addition to the US$ 25 million pledged by Canada for the COVAX AMC at the Global Vaccine Summit on June 4, bringing the total contribution to US$ 191 million.
  • Germany confirmed that the EUR 100m (approximately US$ 120 million) pledged at the Global Vaccine Summit on June 4, as special funds for Gavi to combat COVID-19, will go towards the Gavi COVAX AMC.
  • Italy pledged EUR 20 million (approximately US$ 23 million) to the Gavi COVAX AMC. This is amount is in addition to the US$ 79 million pledged by Italy for the COVAX AMC at the Global Vaccine Summit on June 4, bringing the total contribution to US$ 102 million.
  • Sweden pledged SEK 100 million (approximately US$ 12 million) to the Gavi COVAX AMC.
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“This type of global collaboration  is exactly what the world needs in order to end the acute phase of this pandemic, and we very much appreciate the generosity of donors when their own economies are undergoing stress,” said Marie-Ange Saraka-Yao, Managing Director for Resource Mobilisation, Private Sector Partnerships & Innovative Finance at Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. “The pledges made this week bring us closer to the COVAX goal of making sure ability to pay is not a barrier for access to COVID-19 vaccines. We are grateful to the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Italy, Sweden and all the other COVAX AMC donors for their continued commitment to our shared vision that no one is safe from COVID-19 until the most vulnerable everywhere are safe.” 

The COVAX Facility is part of COVAX, the vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, which is co-led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and the World Health Organization (WHO) – working in partnership with developed and developing country vaccine manufacturers, UNICEF, the World Bank, Civil Society Organisations and others. COVAX is the only global initiative that is working with governments and manufacturers to ensure COVID-19 vaccines are available worldwide to economies of all financial means. 

As part of this effort, Gavi has recently established the Office of the COVAX Facility to oversee administration and coordination of the Facility. Aurélia Nguyen, formerly Managing Director for Vaccines and Sustainability at Gavi, has taken on the role of Managing Director of the Office of the COVAX Facility as of today, for an initial appointment term of one year. Critical decisions taken by the Gavi Board last week, including the allocation of US$ 150 million to support AMC-eligible economies’ readiness to deliver COVID-19 vaccines, will further support the COVAX vision of equitable access.

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