Geneva, 8 May 2020 – Japan has announced US$ 100 million in initial funding to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, to both support Gavi’s COVID-19 response as well as its work immunising hundreds of millions of children in the world’s poorest countries over the next five years, as set out in the Investment Opportunity launched at TICAD in Tokyo last August. The new pledge, made at Monday’s EU’s Coronavirus Global Response pledging conference, is an increase from their previous US$ 94.8 million five-year pledge to the 2016-2020 period.
“The fight against the novel coronavirus requires international cooperation,” said Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan. “Our priorities should be to develop medicines and vaccines, to ensure fair access to them, and to provide assistance to vulnerable developing countries. In order to make a turnaround in this battle, a high priority lies in the development of medicines in the short term, and vaccines in the medium and long term. The Government of Japan will make a total investment of approximately US$ 834 million at home and abroad to contribute to global efforts. This includes our new contribution of approximately US$ 234 million to CEPI and Gavi, among others, to the development and delivery of vaccines. This will be an addition to the more than US$ 200 million that Japan has already provided to CEPI and Gavi.”
Gavi needs at least US$ 7.4 billion for the 2021-25 period to protect 300 million children in 68 lower-income countries against deadly diseases. This funding will also ensure that the immunisation systems needed to deliver a COVID-19 vaccine are sustained through the pandemic. Gavi’s replenishment will conclude at the Global Vaccine Summit, hosted by the UK government on 4 June.
Separate to this funding, Gavi is proposing a new mechanism, a form of Advance Market Commitment (AMC), that would speed up the availability of COVID-19 vaccines by creating healthy market dynamics through incentives and investment.
“This is a massive vote of confidence in Gavi’s mission,” said Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Chair of the Gavi Board. “It underlines how much we all will need the Vaccine Alliance in the coming years, both to prevent a resurgence of diseases like polio or measles as well as to ensure the most vulnerable, wherever they live, have access to an eventual COVID-19 vaccine. Japan deserves our deep gratitude for this commitment.”
“This is absolutely vital funding, which will help us both vaccinate millions of the most vulnerable children and help us deliver eventual COVID-19 vaccines to the most vulnerable,” said Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. “The development of a COVID-19 vaccine is our best chance of beating this disease, which is why Monday’s pledging conference was so important. However we will only defeat COVID-19 if vaccines are available to everyone, no matter where they live.”
The pledges made at this week’s conference build on commitments made by several countries in recent months. Last week the UK pledged £330 million per year to Gavi for the 2021-25 period, following commitments from Germany and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, USA, Saudi Arabia, TikTok, Reed Hastings & Patty Quillin, and Alwaleed Philanthropies.
The UK government will host Gavi’s third donor pledging conference on 4 June 2020 to mobilise at least US$ 7.4 billion in additional resources to protect the next generation with vaccines, reduce disease inequality and create a healthier, safer…