Photo: UNICEF Ethiopia
Just over 12 hours after the budget release last week, Canada is already putting the new resources for the global fight against COVID-19 to use! At the COVAX Break COVID Now Summit co-hosted by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance alongside Germany (G7 President), Ghana, Indonesia (G20 President), and Senegal (African Union chair) on April 8, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced an investment of CAD$220 million to support COVID-19 vaccination needs in lower-income countries.
The commitments made will enable the COVAX Facility to provide urgent delivery support to lower-income countries to improve their capacity to distribute vaccines and get people vaccinated. They will also ensure that dose donations can be shipped and administered and will help secure equitable access for new vaccine procurements.
As co-chair of the COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC) Engagement Group, Canada has been an early champion of the COVAX Facility. With new resources in last week’s federal budget for the global fight against COVID-19, to date, Canada has committed over CAD$2 billion to the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A), including about CAD$800 million to Gavi for COVAX.
While we recognize Canada’s achievements over the past two years to support equitable access to life-saving vaccines, tests, and treatments, investments of dollars and Canada’s excess vaccine doses are not enough for the challenges we collectively face now. Canada must continue demonstrating its commitment to global vaccine equity and keep investing to ensure efficient and equitable distribution of all tools needed to #EndCovidEverywhere. This includes stepping up to explicitly embrace the temporary removal of World Trade Organization (WTO)-protected and enforced intellectual property rights on all COVID-19 tools, as well as actively engaging WTO members to get any compromise proposal right. It’s a must for an equitable response to COVID-19, for the world’s ability to respond collectively and quickly to future pandemics, for the protection of public funds and the interest of people over profits, and for global health solidarity.
Read more about the Government of Canada’s 2022-2023 budget and how it relates to Results Canada’s work in our latest budget statement.