The European Commission Increased Its Aid Package From 40 to 75 Million Euros to Speed up Vaccination in 6 Countries Within the Eastern Partnership Including Moldova
The European Commission increased the value of its aid package from 40 to 75 million euros on Tuesday, August 10th, in order to safely and effectively distribute anti-COVID-19 vaccines and speed up vaccination campaigns in 6 countries within the Eastern Partnership: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine, it is mentioned in a note published on the institution’s website.
With this new 35 million euros assistance package, the European Union aims to significantly increase access to vaccines in the Eastern Partnership region in the context of global vaccine shortages, facilitating the sharing of vaccines by EU Member States and reimbursement of costs. This assistance complements EU support for the COVAX initiative, the global facility for equitable and universal access to COVID-19 vaccines, and works for the equitable and transparent distribution of vaccines to Eastern Partnership countries.
This assistance complements the first 40 million euros assistance package launched in partnership with the World Health Organization in February with the aim of immediately strengthening local preparedness for safe and effective vaccination of the population. European Union support included training health officials and medical staff involved in the vaccination campaign, basic logistical assistance for the delivery and management of vaccines and consumables, safety monitoring and vaccination data, communication and community involvement, and support for the development of a COVID-19 digital certificate.
The new program adopted on Tuesday is part of Team Europe’s response to the COVID-19 global pandemic and is based on the joint efforts of the Member States and the European Union’s cooperation with WHO. The program is a continuation of the first regional actions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic carried out last year in the Eastern Partnership countries when the EU and WHO joined forces and launched the Solidarity Initiative for Health with a budget of 35 million euros. As part of these actions, the region received a significant amount of medical supplies, including over 11 million units of personal protective equipment, 12,000 laboratory kits, over 1,500 fans, oxygen concentrators, and pulse oximeters, and over 20,000 PCR test kits.
The new package adopted will support the effective use of vaccines received by partner countries directly through the EU Vaccine Allocation Mechanism and indirectly through the COVAX platform and direct procurement from producers of COVID-19 vaccines.
The Europe team is one of COVAX’s main donors, allocating around 3 billion euros to the COVAX facility, which remains the main driving force in the world to ensure fair and equitable access to these vaccines and respect for international vaccine solidarity.
In order to complement COVAX’s efforts, Europe intends to donate at least 200 million doses to partner countries by the end of this year. Most vaccines are expected to be distributed through the COVAX platform.