Colm Brophy, T.D., Minister of State for Overseas Development Aid and the Diaspora, today announced an additional €5 million in Irish Aid funding for the global health response to COVID-19, to enable developing countries access vaccines. Most of this funding will go to the COVAX facility, a global UN-led mechanism for pooling procurement and fair distribution of the vaccines.
Making the announcement, Minister Brophy said:
“In Ireland, we are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. COVID-19 vaccines are being rolled out to the elderly, and other vulnerable groups. However, as we deliver on protecting our people at home, I am conscious that if we are to be safe we need to help others to be safe too – COVID-19 cannot be defeated one country at a time.
We need to support those countries who are behind us in accessing vaccines to do so. That’s why I’m delighted to allocate €5 million to the UN COVAX system and the WHO, part of at least €50 million in Irish Aid support to global public health this year. This will support developing countries that need vaccines and can least afford them to secure their share of global supply.
The Government, through Irish Aid, continues to support our partner countries in fighting the pandemic, by ensuring they have other necessary equipment and drugs, trained personnel, and strong logistics for vaccine rollout. This is a strong demonstration of our solidarity with others during this most challenging time.”
19 February 2021
Notes to Editors:
- Irish Aid has allocated €5 million to vaccine response. €4 million of this will go to COVAX, which is the vaccine arm of the ACT-A, the global mechanism for ensuring fair access to therapeutics, diagnostics and vaccines. €1 million will go to the World Health Organisation to support their oversight of the mechanism, ensuring fairness and transparency.
- This is part of at least €50 million allocated to Global Health in 2021. This funding will go to a range of critical health partners supporting the response to COVID and other global health threats in the poorest countries. These include the World Health Organisation, Global Fund to end AIDS, TB and Malaria, Gavi (the Vaccine Alliance), UNICEF, and UNAIDS.
- Ireland is also contributing to the vaccine effort through the European Union, which to date has allocated over €850m to the COVAX facility, or enough to finance at least 1.3 billion doses of vaccination for 92 low and middle-income countries, including fragile and conflict ridden countries, by the end of the year.
- On Wednesday 17 February access to vaccines in conflict-affected areas was the subject of a UN Security Council debate.