The German Government said it will make available a further 1.5 billion euro (c. 570 billion Naira at the official exchange rate) to the “Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator” (ACT Accelerator), the platform coordinated by the World Health Organization (WHO) to support the global efforts to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.
The announcement was made by German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the margins of the virtual G7 summit held alongside the Munich Security Conference last Friday.
The additional pledge comes on top of the 600 million euro (c. 230 billion Naira) committed previously by the German government. Most of the funding should be used for supplying vaccines worldwide through COVAX. Echoing warnings by WHO that “no-one is safe
until everyone is safe”, Chancellor Merkel declared that a vaccination offer should be
made to everyone in the world. Mutant variants of the virus in particular pose a threat as
long as worldwide infection rates remain high. In Africa alone, 3,8 million people have
been infected with over 100.000 deaths, according to the Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention based in Addis Ababa.
It is intended that the German contribution be incorporated as part of a funding package
to the ACT-Accelerator from international partners. COVAX, the vaccines pillar of the ACTAccelerator, is supporting the building of manufacturing capabilities and buying supply
ahead of time so that 2 billion doses can be fairly distributed by the end of 2021. The objective is to provide doses for at least 20% of countries’ populations through a diverse and
actively managed portfolio of vaccines, to end the acute phase of the pandemic and rebuild economies. So far 10,3 billion US dollars have been committed to the ACT Accelerator, of which 7,5 billion by the G7 states (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, United
Kingdom, United States of America plus the European Union).
In their statement G7 leaders said last Friday: “We reaffirm our support to the most vulnerable countries, our commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals, and our partnership with Africa, including to support a resilient recovery”. They also committed themselves “to strengthen support for countries’ responses by exploring all available tools, including through full and transparent implementation of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative”, aiming at alleviating the debt burden of eligible countries at a time when public
finances are under particular strain from the COVID pandemic.
With its fresh commitment to the ACT Accelerator, now totaling 2.1 billion euro (c. 800
billion Naira), Germany is currently the largest donor state in this framework.