Under the Coronavirus Global Response Framework, the European Commission is allocating further €4.9bn to assure access to COVID-19 countermeasures for poor countries.

At the beginning of May, the European Commission (EC) had already announced funding of €4bn for COVID-19 vaccine research, €2bn for the development of therapeutics and €1.5bn for diagnostic test kits within the Coronavirus Global Response Framework. The initiative proposed by the G20, which aims to build sufficient capacity as quickly as possible to provide everyone with COVID-19 vaccines at affordable prices, treatments and testing, now has mobilised another €6.15bn ithrough the ‘Global Goal: Unite for our Future’ pledging summit.

While the European Investment Bank (EIB) and EC provided €4.9bn, EU member states committed €485m to ensure equitable access to coronavirus vaccines, tests and treatments. This brings total pledges under the EU initiative to €15.9bn, €11.9bn thereof given by the Member States, the EC and the EIB, the rest committed by other governments, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness (CEPI), the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI) and the World Bank.

The joint initiative is aimed to avoid national or fragmented efforts that could pose a risk for the most vulnerable economies across the world. The summit also resulted in commitments for the production capacity of over 250 million vaccine doses for middle and lower income countries. Germany, the Netherlands, France and Italy, however, had already previously secured 300 million vaccine doses at a price of €750m from AstraZeneca’s adenoviral vector vaccine AZ1222, and the USA had even secured 1 billion vaccine doses through BARDA funding. The vaccine was licensed from the University of Oxford.

“The world will only be freed from this pandemic when vaccines, tests and treatments are available and affordable to everyone who needs them,” said EC President Ursula von der Leyen. European Investment Bank President Werner Hoyer commented: “I am happy to announce that, as part of Team Europe, the close partnership between the EIB and the European Commission leads to a pledge of €4.9 billion to help vulnerable countries finance their recovery from the pandemic.”