23.02.2021, 22:30

Vietnam to benefit from Germany’s $1.8bn contribution to global combat against coronavirus

Vietnam to benefit from Germany’s $1.8bn contribution to global combat against coronavirus

Vietnam will reap benefits from Germany’s latest committed donation, worth around US$1.8 billion, to the global fight against COVID-19, the German Embassy said in a press release on Tuesday.

“Chancellor Angela Merkel pledged that Germany will contribute an additional 1.5 billion euros [$1.82 billion] in the fight against COVID-19 at the G7 digital summit on Feb. 19, 2021,” the press release reads.

Most of this sum, around one billion euros ($1.2 billion), will go to the global vaccine facility COVAX, co-led by the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization and World Health Organization, to ensure low- and middle-income countries have access to COVID-19 vaccines.

Another portion will be used for diagnostic tools and medication to treat the respiratory disease.

The contribution will enable COVAX to procure more jabs, distribute the doses, and support progress in vaccine research looking at virus mutations.

This makes Germany one of the largest donors.

Vietnam will also benefit, as it is eligible to receive vaccines through COVAX as a lower-middle-income country.

COVAX has agreed to supply Vietnam with 30 million vaccine doses in 2021, according to Vietnamese Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long.

It has sent a letter confirming that 4.8 million of these vaccine shots will be shipped to the country in the first and second quarter of 2021, while the rest are expected to arrive in the third and fourth quarter.

"We are not safe unless everyone is safe,” Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas was quoted as saying in the press release.

“That is why there can only be global responses to global crises like the coronavirus pandemic.

“For this reason, the German government is backing a joint, multilateral approach, namely the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A) coordinated by the World Health Organization.”

It is best suited to provide fair and equitable global access to vaccines and other important tools for pandemic response, Maas said.

“The German government is now providing an additional 1.5 billion euros for this platform. 110 million euros of this will come from the Federal Foreign Office,” the diplomat announced.

Most of this will be provided for vaccines for people in humanitarian crises.

With 10 million euros, Germany is supporting the World Health Organization's emergency fund, which WHO can use flexibly and at short notice.

Germany will continue to work with its European and international partners to ensure fair, affordable, and global access to vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics.

To date, only 0.5 percent of vaccinations have taken place in poorer countries.

However, the goal is to immunize at least 20 percent of the population by the end of the year.

Funding for this has not yet been secured, even after the G7 summit.

To continue its work successfully in 2021, the COVAX vaccine platform needs a total of $27.7 billion.

Germany's contribution is therefore an important signal for other countries and international institutions, as well as the private sector, to continue participating in this initiative.