German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday pledged additional funding for the global Covax initiative to distribute Covid-19 vaccines fairly across the globe.
Speaking at an online UN event, Merkel said Germany had already pledged 675 million euros (793 million dollars) at two donor conferences.
“Today I’m in a position to announce another 100 million euros that we have earmarked as special funds for Gavi,” she said through a translator, referring to a vaccine alliance involved in the Covax initiative.
“This is Germany’s contribution towards ensuring that developing countries have access to Covid-19
vaccines,” Merkel added.
The German chancellor stressed that the pandemic can only be tackled globally, and called upon countries
to get involved in the programme.
Her comments echoed those of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, who earlier said that “joining forces
to defeat it should be a no-brainer.”
Guterres again called for a “quantum leap in support” for the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Access to
Covid-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, an initiative to speed up the development of vaccines, therapeutics and
diagnostics, of which Covax is a part.
“The 3 billion dollars it has received has been critical for the start-up,” he told the event.
“Now we need to scale-up and ensure maximum impact – and that requires an additional 35 billion dollars.
That must begin with an immediate infusion of 15 billion dollars.”
Canada and Sweden were also among the nations pledging new support for the initiative at the event.
Covax is a joint effort by the WHO, and by two large international public-private partnerships: Gavi and