Foreign Minister Liz Truss has pledged up to £ 105million in emergency aid to the UK to help vulnerable countries tackle the Omicron Covid-19 variant, with a particular focus on the ‘Africa.
Life-saving assistance will be provided through trusted partners and:
- Large-scale testing – especially in parts of Africa where testing rates for Covid-19 remain lowest – allowing health systems to track and respond more effectively to the spread of the virus. This adds to the leading genomic sequencing support in the UK.
- Improve access to oxygen supplies for ventilators – increased oxygen demand is a significant risk for some countries.
- Provide communities with hygiene advice, products and access to hand washing facilities and support deep cleaning in schools, health centers and other public places. This will build on the successful global hygiene campaign between UK Aid and Unilever, which has reached over 1.2 billion people since its launch in 2020.
- Fund UK groundbreaking science and research into spreading variants like Omicron to enable innovative, evidence-based policy responses in low- and middle-income countries.
- Prepare the UK’s own emergency expert teams for overseas deployment to crisis hotspots, including with new medical equipment.
The government also confirmed today that more than 30 million vaccines have been delivered so far as part of the UK’s pledge to donate 100 million doses to the world, benefiting over 30 country.
Foreign Minister Liz Truss said:
The UK is providing vital assistance to combat the spread of new variants around the world. This is the key to guaranteeing our freedom and ending this pandemic once and for all.
I am proud that we have also delivered over 30 million vaccines for the benefit of our friends around the world this year. The UK is helping other countries that need it most. No one is safe until everyone is safe.
Doses donated by the UK have reached four continents and provided vital protection against Covid-19 in countries such as Angola, Cambodia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Indonesia , Malawi, Nepal and Rwanda.
Of the more than 30 million doses now donated, 24.6 million have been received by COVAX for delivery to countries and 5.5 million have been shared directly with countries in need, including Kenya, Jamaica and Africa. ‘Indonesia.
Millions of additional vaccines will be sent to other countries in 2022, including 20 million Oxford-AstraZeneca doses and 20 million Janssen doses.
The UK has been at the forefront of the global response to Covid-19. Today’s announcement builds on UK aid of £ 1.3 billion committed to the international health response to the onset of the pandemic, supporting vaccines, health systems and economic recovery in developing countries.
The government has also invested more than £ 88million to support the development of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, and the UK became the first country in the world to approve the vaccine a year ago today.
Thanks to AstraZeneca’s commitment to distribute the vaccine on a non-profit basis, 2.5 billion doses have been used in more than 170 countries, two-thirds of which are low- and middle-income countries.
Health and Social Affairs Secretary Sajid Javid said:
The global pandemic has strained health systems around the world and the best way to beat this terrible disease is to unite and stand with our international partners.
By supporting countries with the UK’s groundbreaking science and research into the spread of variants, improving access to oxygen and stepping up testing, we’ll help those who need it most chart their way out of the pandemic.
I am proud that we have already delivered over 30 million vaccines to our friends abroad. The UK, as a world leader, is helping other countries that need it most. No one is safe until everyone is safe.
Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, said:
We welcome the UK’s commitment to new funding to protect the most vulnerable, especially in Africa; the UK’s continued focus on COVAX and equitable global access to COVID19 vaccines, both through early funding pledges made at UNGA 2020, as well as fulfilling the G7 pledge from the Prime Minister on dose sharing – the 30 million target set by the end of 2021.
We look forward to operationalizing the rest of the UK’s dose-sharing commitment through COVAX in 2022, while we also work with the UK government to continue to support the ambitious 2021-2025 routine immunization programs. of Gavi, of which the UK is the largest funder through the WH pledge made at the World Vaccine Summit held in UK in June 2020.
Notes to Editors:
- The UK will fund oxygen testing and supplies through the COVID-19 C19RM response mechanism, established by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. It is a proven, rapid and highly effective approach designed to meet the needs of countries and communities in low- and middle-income countries.
- The UK continues to offer our cutting-edge expertise to help identify new variants of Covid-19. The UK is the second-largest contributor of genomic data to the global Covid-19 spread mapping initiative, providing around a third of the total number of footage uploaded so far.
- The UK has launched efforts to establish COVAX, pledging £ 548million to the program. COVAX has so far delivered 811 million doses to 144 of the world’s poorest countries.
- The UK Health Security Agency continues to help countries identify, assess and effectively track new variants of SARS-CoV-2 in their populations through the new Variant Assessment Platform (NVAP).
- Planning for future pandemics is crucial and that is why the UK will host a resupply conference in March 2022 to support the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to raise funds for vaccine research and development. CEPI aims to reduce the time it takes to develop a vaccine to 100 days, which could prevent future pandemics, save millions of lives and prevent billions of pounds in economic damage.
- The UK donates vaccines through COVAX as well as directly to countries. So far, UK-donated doses have arrived in Angola, Antiqua and Barbuda, Bangladesh, Belize, Cambodia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Dominica, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kenya , Laos, Malawi, Malaysia, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Rwanda, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Senegal, Thailand, Uganda, Vietnam and Zambia.
- The UK continues to proactively manage our vaccine supply and does not hold stocks of coronavirus vaccines. All regulated doses purchased are either used up quickly by our national program or shared internationally with countries in need, meaning the rollout of national reminders is unaffected by donations.