European Union provides new funding to support COVID-19 vaccination in sub-Saharan Africa – World
The program will reach over 189 million people
DAKAR / NAIROBI, December 8, 2021 – UNICEF received a new European Union Humanitarian Aid grant to help roll out COVID-19 vaccination in 12 countries in East, Southern, West and Central Africa. The 18-month joint program will help ensure that as vaccines arrive, countries are supported and vaccines reach the entire population, including the most vulnerable. Support will be provided, among other things, by training health workers, strengthening logistics and building confidence in vaccine uptake.
The COVID-19 pandemic has put immense strain on already overburdened health systems in East, Southern, West and Central Africa, despite concerted efforts by governments, supported by UNICEF and other partners. The impact on communities and children has been devastating. Children have been hit particularly hard, with schools closed for months, millions of children forced into labor or early marriage, and millions more in extreme poverty.
Immunization is a key strategy in the global response to COVID-19. However, only 7% of the African population had been fully vaccinated as of December 6, 2021.
“Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the EU, its Member States and European financial institutions have united to Team Europe, to provide support against the pandemic around the world. In addition to being a major donor to the COVAX facility, the EU provides a total of 100 million euros in humanitarian aid to support the deployment of vaccination campaigns in Africa, in cooperation with the African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), ”said Paraskevi Michou, Director General of Humanitarian Aid and Civil protection at the European Commission. “This will help ensure equitable access to vaccines for vulnerable people, including in conflict-affected or hard-to-reach areas. It is also an indication of the strong cooperation between the European Commission, Africa CDC, United Nations agencies and humanitarian partners on the ground, in our joint efforts to defeat the pandemic. “
The 12 countries with critical humanitarian needs and fragile health systems benefiting from this new EU humanitarian funding to roll out their vaccination campaigns are: Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Madagascar , Mali, Nigeria, South Sudan, Uganda and Zimbabwe.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on communities and children in Africa, causing deaths, affecting livelihoods and the ability of governments to provide essential services to children,” said Marie-Pierre Poirier, UNICEF Regional Director for West and Central Africa. “UNICEF welcomes the EU’s support to ensure that people in 12 countries, including parents and priority groups such as health workers, teachers and social workers, can be vaccinated against COVID- 19. Protecting them is essential to restore and improve services for children.
This new EU humanitarian funding will enable UNICEF to:
- strengthen coordination and partnership with governments, Africa CDC, WHO AFRO and partners in planning and monitoring the deployment of the COVID-19 vaccine;
- support the delivery of vaccines to priority groups through increased capacity of health forces;
- increase logistics, cold chain systems and vaccine management;
- strengthen community engagement for vaccine acceptance and promote demand;
- and provide timely and quality technical support and monitoring.
“As COVID-19 vaccines become increasingly available in Africa, it is critical to ensure that countries have the tools and resources to turn vaccines into vaccines by accelerating deployments while prioritizing most vulnerable target populations ”, said Mohamed Fall, UNICEF regional director for Eastern and Southern Africa. “ECHO’s support to UNICEF will help make this a reality.”
Regional Information Officer
EU humanitarian aid
Phone. : +254 722792604
Email: [email protected]
Nadia Samie Jacobs
UNICEF Africa Services Unit
Phone: +27 72 777 9399
Email: [email protected]