The Australian government will contribute AU$ 80 million to Gavi’s COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC), a financing instrument aimed at supporting the participation of 92 lower- and middle-income economies in the COVAX Facility, ensuring that the world’s poorest people do not miss out on safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines.
Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance is a public-private partnership that helps vaccinate half the world’s children against some of the world’s deadliest diseases.
Since its inception in 2000, Gavi has helped immunise a whole generation – over 760 million children – and prevented more than 13 million deaths, helping halve child mortality in 73 developing countries.
“We welcome Australia’s contribution, which will help us ensure that every economy, particularly the poorest nations, don’t get left behind in the race for a COVID-19 vaccine,” said Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Chair of the Gavi Board.
“This disease has spread at lightning speed across the globe, which means nobody is safe until everybody is safe. That’s why we now need support and vital funding to ensure that, once a safe, effective vaccine is ready, we can work on protecting the world and not just the lucky few.”
The Gavi COVAX AMC has raised more than US$ 600 million against an initial target of securing the US$ 2 billion seed funding that is needed from sovereign donors, as well as philanthropy and the private sector, by the end of 2020, according to a media release issued from Geneva.
Funding the Gavi COVAX AMC will be critical to ensuring that ability to pay does not become a barrier to accessing COVID-19 vaccines, a situation which would leave the majority of the world unprotected, and allow the pandemic and its impact to continue unabated.
The list of 92 AMC-eligible economies includes all economies with Gross National Income (GNI) per capita under US$ 4,000 plus other World Bank International Development Association (IDA)-eligible economies, including countries in the Pacific and South-East Asia.
“We know that international investment in vaccine manufacturing and procurement is stronger when nations work together,” said Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women, Senator Marise Payne.
She said they also know that early access to vaccines will play a critical role in the economic recovery of all countries – including their Pacific family and regional partners.
The COVAX Facility is coordinated by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and WHO and forms a key part of COVAX – the vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, a unique global collaboration to accelerate the development, production, and equitable access to COVID-19 diagnostics, treatments, and vaccines.
The overall aim of COVAX is to accelerate the development and manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines, and to guarantee fair and equitable access for every country in the world.
It aims to achieve this by sharing the risks associated with vaccine development and by pooling procurement and purchasing power to achieve sufficient volumes to end the acute phase of the pandemic by the end of 2021.
So far, 80 higher-income economies, which would finance the vaccines from their own public finance budgets and which includes Australia, have submitted Expressions of Interest.
They will partner with 92 low- and middle-income countries that will be supported by the AMC if it meets its funding targets.
Together, this group of 172 countries represents more than 70% of the world’s population. Among the group are representatives from every continent and more than half of the world’s G20 economies.
In July, the Gavi Board agreed on the 92 economies that will be supported the COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC).
Low income: Afghanistan, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Dem. Rep., Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, The Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Korea, Dem. People's Rep., Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda and Yemen.
Lower-middle income: Angola, Algeria, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Bolivia, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Cameroon, Comoros, Congo, Rep. Côte d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, Arab Rep., El Salvador, Eswatini, Ghana, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Kiribati, Kyrgyz Republic Lao PDR, Lesotho, Mauritania, Micronesia, Fed. Sts., Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, São Tomé and Principe, Senegal, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Timor-Leste, Tunisia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Vietnam, West Bank and Gaza, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Additional IDA eligible: Dominica, Fiji, Grenada, Guyana, Kosovo, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Samoa, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Tonga, Tuvalu.