Fri. May 27th, 2022
Brussels, 12 May 2022

The European Commission has today announced its intention to step up funding to accelerate roll-out and uptake of vaccines and other COVID-19 tools in Africa, with a further €400 million in support. The Commission also foresees a €427 million euros ($450 million) contribution to theGlobal Pandemic Preparedness Fundto support efforts to prevent and better respond to future pandemics.

Announcing EU’s stepped up support at the Second COVID-19 Summit, President of the European Commission, Ursulavon der Leyen, said:

“The supply of vaccines must go hand in hand with a speedy delivery, especially in Africa. The priority today is to make sure that every dose available is administered. And because we know that the best answer to any potential future health crisis is prevention, we are also stepping up support to strengthen health systems and preparedness capacities.”

Commissioner for International Partnerships, JuttaUrpilainen, said:

“The pandemic has evolved and the vaccine supply has stabilised, thanks in part to the generous financial and in-kind contributions of Team Europe to COVAX. We have heard our African partners: the challenge now is to accelerate the roll-out and uptake of vaccines on the ground, and to respond toother needs of the COVID-19 response, including therapeutics, diagnostics, and health systems.We will therefore adapt our response to help countries tackle the pandemic through tailored support and be prepared for the future.”

From vaccines to vaccination, pandemic preparedness

In response to the changed supply-demand situation of COVID-19 vaccines, the EU is adapting its efforts by supporting the most efficient use of the available doses. Ensuring equitable access to non-vaccine tools remains essential, as does enhancing the resilience of health systems to prepare for the next pandemic. The support pledged today, as part of Team Europe’s global response, intends to further these objectives.

  • €300 million support to vaccination in Africa through the COVAX Facility and other partners. The funds are intended to support the supply of auxiliary material such as syringes, supply chain management, logistics and service delivery, and the administration of vaccines.
  • €100 million support to accessing other COVID-19 tools: diagnostics, therapeutics and strengthening health systems. Together with the €50 million recently mobilised for the same purpose, this support worth €150 million in total is intended to be channelled through the COVID-19 Response Mechanism of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
  • €427 ($450) million for theGlobal Pandemic Preparedness Fundthat is to be established, subject to agreement on its governance. The Fund will leverage funds for pandemic preparedness and response, helping to avoid a repetition of the devastating health and socio-economic impact of COVID-19 in future.

President von der Leyen and President Biden also reaffirmed their commitment to the U.S.-EU Agenda for Beating the Global Pandemic, Vaccinating the World, Saving Lives Now and Building Back Better, initiated at the first COVID-19 Summit in September 2021. In their joint statement, they describe ongoing EU – U.S. cooperation and shared goals in the areas of vaccine equity and shots in arms; strengthening global supply chains and manufacturing; improving the global health security architecture; preparing for future pathogen threats and risks; and research and development for new vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics.

Background

The pandemic, including with the emergence of new virus variants, has constantly evolved and therefore requires a flexible response. The vaccine supply has stabilised, thanks in part to the EU’s combined financial contributions to COVAX and the generous dose donations of EU Member States. By 3 May, EU Member States had shared in total over 470 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, of which more than 366 million had already been delivered to recipients. COVAX had delivered 1.436 billion doses to 145 countries. Overall, EU has exported 2.2 billion doses to partner countries.

The EU and its Member States had already committed over €1 billion to the rollout and uptake of vaccines and other COVID-19 tools in low and lower-middle income countries.

The EU’s ultimate goal remains to advance Universal Health Coverage in partner countries. Beyond fighting the current pandemic, resilient health systems are the necessary condition of pandemic preparedness and the cornerstone of EU bilateral support to health.

Today’s announcement was made by President von der Leyen at the second Global COVID-19 Summit, co-hosted by the United States as first COVID Summit Chair, Belize, as CARICOM Chair; Germany, holding the G7 Presidency; Indonesia, holding the G20 Presidency; and Senegal as African Union Chair and held virtually.

For more information

Address by President von der Leyen

EU-Africa: Global Gateway Investment Package – Health

EU global response to COVID-19

An EU-US Agenda for Beating the Global Pandemic

Statement by President von der Leyen and President Biden on occasion of the second Global COVID-19 Summit

 


Statement by President von der Leyen and President Biden on occasion of the second Global COVID-19 Summit

 

Brussels, 12 May 2022

The United States of America and the European Union are implementing the U.S.-EU Agenda for Beating the Global Pandemic, Vaccinating the World, Saving Lives Now and Building Back Better Health Security of 22 September 2021. Today, Presidents Biden and Von Der Leyen reaffirmed milestones in their strong cooperation towards the five headline goals of the Agenda, and they previewed further joint action below:

Vaccine equity and ‘shots-in-arms’. Having shared a combined total of more than 1 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses, and in line with a commitment to share a total of 1.9 billion doses around the world, the EU and U.S. seek to ensure ongoing deliveries are based on country demand, informed by best practices and reach ‘tarmac to arms’, with focus on sub-Saharan Africa. Through support from Team Europe and U.S. Global VAX programs, both sides recognise that vaccine equity starts with best practice donation principles including adequate and transparent planning in cooperation with governments, in-country partners, COVAX (as part of ACT-A), the Africa Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT), WHO, the COVID- 19 Vaccine Delivery Partnership (CoVDP), and others. Given that dose supply is currently not constrained, the partnership should pay particular attention to enhancing vaccine readiness, strengthening logistics, combating hesitancy, and building longer-term capacity by means of health systems strengthening, and immediate capability for vaccine uptake as part of the global COVID-19 Vaccine Delivery Partnership. To strengthen our partnership, the U.S. and EU will actively consult with partners including AVATT, CoVDP, and COVAX on strategies to accelerate vaccine absorption. The U.S. and EU will strengthen dialogues with multilateral development banks and global partners aiming towards better uptake of and sustainable financing for in-country vaccination operations.

Strengthening global supply chains and manufacturing. The need to ensure vaccine and therapeutic dose supply and administration in the face of supply chain constraints led to the launch of the joint EU-U.S. COVID-19 manufacturing and supply chain task force in September 2021. The leaders expect that the task force will extend its activities to provide early warning of supply chain bottlenecks that could hamper global availability of vaccines and treatments, and to coordinate efforts to sustain vaccine and therapeutics production capabilities for variants and future pandemics, including in Africa.

Enhanced EU-U.S. coordination to improve global health security architecture. Enhancing pandemic prevention, preparedness and response (PPR) capacities requires strong international cooperation, and the U.S. and the EU are committed to cooperate to this end, including under the lines of effort of the COVID-19 Prioritized Global Action Plan for Enhanced Engagement (GAP). Enhanced PPR requires a strengthening of the global health architecture, including of the WHO at the centre, and sustainable financing. Presidents Biden and Von Der Leyen welcomed the support of the G20 under Indonesia’s leadership, and committed to cooperate on the establishment of a new Financial Intermediary Fund (FIF) for pandemic preparedness and global health security at the World Bank, including its sustainable capitalization, governance and structure. The U.S. and EU committed to support the early design and implementation of the FIF. The leaders will also cooperate towards the conclusion of a convention, agreement or other international instrument on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response at the WHO, and targeted amendments to the International Health Regulations, in order to strengthen the global rulebook for pandemic PPR. The EU and the U.S. are working together with expert dialogue to forge consensus on targeted IHR amendments and the content of a pandemic instrument. They also recognise the importance of engagement with other partners to take forward both sustainable financing for PPR and a strengthened WHO.

Preparing for the future, pathogen detection and monitoring, joint threat assessment and response. The EU and U.S. will collaborate to improve pathogen monitoring and threat assessment, leveraging existing and novel approaches, providing integrated surveillance, real-time monitoring, early warning systems, forecasting and analytics, intelligence exchange, supporting rapid response networks and an ‘always-ready’ health emergency workforce to prevent or mitigate cross-border outbreaks, all within a One Health approach.

Research and development for new vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics. Acknowledging the importance of swiftly reacting to pandemics, the U.S. and EU support science to shorten the cycle for the development of safe and effective vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics from 300 to 100 days following the identification of such threats and work to make them widely available. In the near term, the EU and U.S. committed to deepen cooperation to identify and evaluate variant adapted, more broadly protective, and next generation vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics while ensuring their safety and efficacy. The U.S. and the EU will work towards aligning R&D investments with manufacturing and manufacturing capabilities development, and will conclude a formal administrative arrangement on preparedness and response for public health threats to be signed this month between the European Commission Health Emergency and Preparedness Response Authority (HERA) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Source – EU Commission

 

 


Speech by President von der Leyen at the second Global COVID-19 Summit, co-hosted by the United States, Belize, Germany, Indonesia, and Senegal, via video message

12 May 2022

 

“Check against delivery”

Mr President, dear Joe,
Mrs Vice President,

Thank you for calling this second global COVID-19 summit.

Today´s presence of leaders from across the world is a powerful signal. No issue is more important than people’s well-being. We cannot be complacent.

Because the pandemic is not over. Of course, safe and effective vaccines and better treatments have much reduced the pressure on our healthcare systems. And restrictions in many parts of the world are being lifted. But new variants will continue to emerge. And there is no guarantee that the next one will be mild. In addition, we must prepare for future pandemics or other health threats – beyond COVID.

So, in the EU, we are working hard to step up surveillance, strengthen our healthcare systems and improve preparedness. None of us can do this alone. And this is why international cooperation and solidarity have been at the heart of our EU’s response from the very beginning.

Until now Europe exported 2,2 billion doses of vaccine. In addition, Team Europe helped to set up and fund the ACT Accelerator and shared 470 million vaccine doses so far. Because we know: Global cooperation – including our EU-US partnership – is vital to end this pandemic.

We teamed up in our fight against COVID at the first summit in September. The joint statement we’re making today proves that our close cooperation is advancing the global effort to end the pandemic.

At our last meeting, in September, we focussed on sharing, supply and local production, as well as on ensuring sustainable financing. Now we must take our commitment to the next level. The supply of vaccines has to go hand in hand with speedy delivery, especially in Africa.

Today I can announce that the European Commission makes a financial commitment to enable vaccine delivery in the countries in need.

I also make a financing pledge to support the work of ACT-Accelerator on diagnostics, therapeutics and health systems.

In addition, we make sure that all regions have the capacity to produce their own medicines, locally. The recent agreement in the G20 to move ahead with a global pandemic preparedness fund is an opportunity for the global community. We will work together with the US and other partners to make it fit for purpose.

I can announce today that the Commission envisages a significant contribution to this fund as soon as its governance is established.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

the development of safe and effective vaccines in record time was an unprecedented achievement in the history of science. And it was international cooperation that made this success possible.

I am sure, Mr President, dear Joe, that our summit today will strengthen the global cooperation we need.

Source – EU Commission