EU launches €100 million fund to support vaccination in Africa

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by Keith Zahra

The EU has formally launched a €100 million humanitarian initiative in support of the COVID-19 vaccination campaigns in Africa. As announced by the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, at the G7 meeting in February 2021, this €100 million initiative is part of the European Commission’s efforts to ensure equitable and fair access to safe and effective vaccines to all. 

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. 

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. This will include the support for 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. 

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