TODAY'S NEWS RECAP
The European Union (EU) has launched a new €100 million humanitarian initiative in support of the COVID-19 vaccination campaigns in Africa.
The €100 million initiative, according to a statement by the EU on Wednesday, is part of the European Commission’s efforts to ensure equitable and fair access to safe and effective vaccines to all.
The statement said 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.
It added that following his meeting with the Head of the Africa CDC, Dr. John Nkengasong, the EU Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, said: “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.”
Lenarčič, who visited the Africa Centres for Disease control and Prevention (Africa CDC) in Addis Ababa on Wednesday to mark the start of the implementation of the EU’s new €100 million humanitarian initiative in support of the COVID-19 vaccination campaigns in Africa, said: “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.”
The statement said 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 of 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.
It added that 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.
It revealed that a further €10 million is in reserve, to be allocated to any of two tracks as needed.
President von der Leyen had announced in February, this year, that an additional €100 million would be provided in humanitarian assistance to support the roll-out of vaccination campaigns in Africa in cooperation with the Africa CDC.
The €100 million are mobilised as part of the EU’s Solidarity and Emergency Aid Reserve. The funding comes on top of the funding already mobilised by the EU and its member states as part of the Team Europe approach.