Policy Updates

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South Korea pledges US$30 million at Gavi’s Global Vaccine Summit: 50% increase from 2015 pledge

At the Global Vaccine Summit, convened by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance in London on June 4, 2020, South Korea pledged US$30 million for the period of 2021-2025. This represents a 50% increase from South Korea’s contributions to Gavi of US$20 million for the period of 2016-2020 ($4 million annually). South Korea was represented at the event by Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha.

In addition to the pledge, Minister Kang also discussed the Support Group for Global Infectious Disease Response (G4IDR) which was recently launched by South Korea to work closely with the WHO and other multilateral health initiatives including Gavi, Global Fund, Unitaid, Stop TB, and the International Vaccine Institute. 


Press release – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

UK pledges US$2 billion at Gavi’s Global Vaccine Summit: 44% increase from 2015 pledge

At the Global Vaccine Summit, convened by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance in London on June 4, 2020, the UK pledged £1.7 billion (US$2 billion) for the period of 2021-2025. This represents a 44% increase from the UK’s previous pledge of US$1.3 billion to Gavi for 2016-2020.

The UK was represented at the event by Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Given that the UK was hosting the virtual summit, Johnson opened the event, identifying Gavi as a key institution in the fight against COVID-19. He called on the global community to unite in the fight against this pandemic.

Press release - UK Government

Canada pledges US$429 million at Gavi’s Global Vaccine Summit: 20% increase from 2015 pledge

At the Global Vaccine Summit, convened by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance (Gavi) in London on June 4, 2020, Canada reiterated its May pledge of CAD600 million (US$429 million) for the period of 2021-2025. This represents a 20% increase from Canada’s most recent pledge to Gavi in 2015.

Canada announced the pledge at the Group of Friends of Solidarity for Global Health Security virtual meeting in mid-May of 2020, several weeks prior to the Global Vaccine Summit. 

Since 2002, Canada has provided more than CAD1 billion (US$716 billion) in funding to Gavi, including CAD500 million (US$358 million) for the current period (from 2016 to 2020). Canada was represented at the Summit by Prime Minister Trudeau who has been an outspoken advocate for international action on vaccine development.

Press release - Global Affairs Canada

European Commission pledges US$326 million at Gavi’s Global Vaccine Summit: 50% increase from 2015 pledge

On June 4, 2020, at the Global Vaccine Summit convened by Gavi the Vaccine Alliance in London, the European Commission (EC) pledged €300 million (US$326 million) for the 2021-2025 replenishment period. This represents a 50% increase from the EC’s most recent pledge to Gavi in 2015 amounting to €200 million (US$217 million) for the 2016-2020 period.

The EC was represented at the event by EC President Ursula von der Leyen who stated that this pledge exceeds all previous EC contributions and expressed the Commission's strong support for Gavi. 
 
The EC’s pledge is subject to change since the pledge will be financed by the Commission’s proposal for the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for 2021-2027, which is yet to be finalized by EU member states and the European Parliament.


Press release - European Commission

Speech transcript - European Commission

US pledges US$1.2 billion at Gavi's Global Vaccine Summit: 16% increase from 2015 pledge

At the Global Vaccine Summit, convened by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance in London on June 4, 2020, the US reiterated its US$1.2 billion pledge for fiscal years (FY) 2020-2023, representing a 16% increase from the US pledge in 2015.

All pledges must be approved by Congress, which has already provided US$290 million for FY2020. The president's budget for FY2021, which Congress has not yet considered, includes US$290 million in support of Gavi.

Press release - USAID

Video - USAID

At Gavi's Global Vaccine Summit, world leaders exceed funding target with historic US$8.8 billion

Representatives of 52 countries, including 35 heads of state, joined the June 5, 2020, Global Vaccine Summit, convened by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, to raise a total of US$8.8 billion in financing for childhood immunizations and vaccine infrastructure. World leaders, meeting with representatives of 12 organizations and corporations for the London-based pledging moment, hoped to reach a US$7.4 billion funding target. By the time the pledging ended, the target had been overshot by US$1.4 billion.

Against the backdrop of a still-raging COVID-19 pandemic which has claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands and laid waste to the global economy, attendees of the summit spoke passionately about the need for global cooperation and solidarity in ensuring that a vaccine against the novel coronavirus, once developed, be accessible to all.

The US$8.8 billion will support Gavi's campaign to vaccinate 300 million children in the world's poorest countries against diseases including diphtheria, polio, and measles by 2025. Disruptions to Gavi's regular immunization activities, caused by COVID-19, have endangered an estimated 80 million children under one year old. The funding will also bolster Gavi's efforts in strengthening health systems in low-income states which have been ravaged by the pandemic and will help build out infrastructure to support the eventual provision of a vaccine against the virus.

A further US$567 million was also raised for 'Gavi Advance Market Commitment for COVID-19 Vaccines' (Gavi Covax AMC), a new financing instrument designed to provide access to the eventual COVID-19 vaccine specifically in low- and middle-income countries.

“To beat the COVID-19 pandemic, the world needs more than breakthrough science. It needs breakthrough generosity,” said Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “...When COVID-19 vaccines are ready, this funding and global coordination will ensure that people all over the world will be able to access them.”

Press release - Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance

Australia pledges US$196 million at Gavi’s Global Vaccine Summit: 20% increase from its 2015 pledge

At the Global Vaccine Summit, convened by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance in London on June 4, 2020, Australia pledged A$300 million (US$195 million) for the period of 2021-2025. This represents a 20% increase from Australia’s most recent pledge to Gavi in 2015. Australia was represented at the virtual event by Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison.

In the Pacific and Timor-Leste, Gavi had already enabled the vaccination of more than 1.5 million children.

Press release - Foreign Ministry

France pledges US$395 million at Gavi’s Global Vaccine Summit: 233% increase from 2015 pledge

At the Global Vaccine Summit, convened by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance in London on June 4, 2020, France pledged €350 million (US$395 million). This represents a 233% increase from France's most recent pledge to Gavi in 2015 of €150 million (US$164 million, with 2020 conversion rate) for the period of 2016-2020. France was represented at the event by President Emmanuel Macron.

According to Macron, €250 million (US$282 million) will be allocated through direct funding, and an additional €100 million (US$113 million) will be allocated "when the effective vaccine against COVID is available in order to ensure its dissemination at an affordable price".

Press release - French Presidency

Netherlands pledges US$366 million at Gavi’s Global Vaccine Summit: 30% increase from 2015 pledge

At the Global Vaccine Summit, convened by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance in London on June 4, 2020, the Netherlands pledged €325 million (US$366 million) for the period of 2021-2025. This represents an 30% increase from the Netherlands' most recent pledge to Gavi in 2015 of €250 million (US$282 million), however, a part of the new contribution is for a 10-year period and includes long term finance to the International Financing Facility for Immunisation (IFFIm), one of Gavi's funding instruments. The Netherlands was represented at the event by its Prime Minister, Mark Rutte.

Rutte commended Gavi for the extraordinary results that it achieved, and noted that the Netherlands has been a staunch supporter of Gavi since its inception in 2000. Still, Rutte said, too many children suffer from preventable diseases, and therefore much work remains to be done.  

Rutte furthermore acknowledged that Gavi plays a key role in combatting COVID-19, but he also called on Gavi to work even more closely with other global health partners to align efforts at country level.

Press release - Stichting Vaccinvrij (in Dutch)

Press release - Gavi  

Italy pledges US$314 million at Gavi’s Global Vaccine Summit: 20% increase from 2015 pledge

At the Global Vaccine Summit, convened by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance in London on June 4, 2020, Italy pledged €288 million (US$314 million). €120m ($131 million) was allocated as a direct contribution to Gavi for the period 2021-2025, representing a 20% increase over Italy’s previous direct pledge for the 2016 to 2020 period. Italy announced a further €150 million ($164 million) to be paid in equal installments from 2026 to 2030, to Gavi's International Finance Facility for Immunisation (IFFIm) on top of the previous IFFIM commitment. Italy was represented at the Summit by Prime Minister Conte.

Over the past 20 years, Italy has taken a leading role in launching the first Advance Market Commitment to accelerate the development and availability of pneumococcal vaccines, and it is the largest donor to the AMC. In his London remarks, Conte announced on behalf of all AMC partners that the AMC's financial balance would be allocated to the new Gavi Advance Market Commitment for COVID-19 Vaccines (Gavi Covax AMC).

In his speech, Conte also confirmed that effective multilateralism, international cooperation, and solidarity will be central pillars of Italy’s G20 presidency in 2021.

Speech transcript - Presidency of the Council of Ministers

Japan pledges US$306 million at Gavi's Global Vaccine Summit: 223% increase from 2015 pledge

At the Global Vaccine Summit, convened by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance in London on June 4, 2020, Japan pledged US$306 million for the period of 2021-2025. This represents a 223% increase from Japan's contributions to Gavi of US$95 million for the period of 2016-2020. Japan was represented at the event by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

In his remarks, Abe highlighted the importance of international cooperation and the need for equitable access to vaccines. Assuming that a vaccine for COVID-19 will be developed, Abe indicated the need for preparations now to supply the vaccine across the world. Abe also expressed hope that Japanese companies’ innovations in vaccines as well as manufacturing and supplying capabilities will be utilized more.
 
Press release – Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Japanese)

News article – The Sankei News (in Japanese)

German governing parties announce US$3.3 billion for international COVID-19 response as part of US$141.8 billion stimulus package

On June 3, 2020, the German governing parties CDU/CSU and SPD agreed on a €130 billion (US$141.8 billion) economic stimulus package in response to the COVID-19 crisis. The package includes €3 billion (US$3.3 billion) in additional funding for the international COVID-19 response to fight the pandemic, expand humanitarian assistance, provide preventive health care, and scale up the economic exchange between Germany and the African continent. The €3 billion will be distributed from 2020-2021, with €1.5 billion allocated each year. 
 
Development Minister Gerd Müller welcomed the parties’ decision to increase funding for the global COVID-19 response, stating that Germany's efforts would send “an important sign of solidarity”. With the €3 billion the German Development Ministry’s (BMZ’s) Emergency COVID-19 Support Program could be expanded, he said, and Germany could contribute to stabilizing particularly affected crisis and refugee regions. 
 
Müller had originally requested an additional €3.2 billion (US$3.4 billion) in funding for the BMZ Emergency COVID-19 Support Program from Germany’s 2020 supplementary budget. As of yet, it is not clear whether the now announced €3 billion will be solely channeled via the BMZ, or whether the funding will be also distributed to other ministries, such as the Federal Foreign Office.

Press release – Coalition committee’s stimulus package (in German)

News article – Deutsche Welle

News article – dpa (in German)

Dutch Development Minister looks back on Netherlands’ support for EU development cooperation

On May 27, 2020, Dutch Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Sigrid Kaag, presented an annual letter to Parliament on Dutch efforts regarding EU development cooperation.  

The letter outlines the priorities of the Dutch cabinet (which include sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), combatting climate change, and international corporate social responsibility) as well as some reflections on recent developments and achievements. 

Kaag reflected on the Netherlands’ advocacy for the inclusion of SRHR topics during negotiations on the European Union’s ‘Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument’ (NDICI) in 2019. The Netherlands also called upon other EU member states and the European Council to create an EU action plan on international corporate social business in November of 2019. 

The letter also notes the results of a large-scale study on the effectiveness of EU-development cooperation in the period of  2013-2018, solicited from the European Centre for Development Policy (ECDPM) and the Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitiek (DIE) by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The study’s findings were generally positive and underlined the importance of the EU as a global actor for development cooperation. 

Press release - Parliament of the Netherlands (in Dutch) 

Dutch Development Minister presents report on recent World Bank Group meeting, calls for World Bank to lead economic recovery efforts

On May 26, 2020, Dutch Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Sigrid Kaag, presented a report to Parliament on the World Bank Group’s April 17 Development Committee meeting. 
The Committee emphasized the importance of adopting a holistic, long-term strategy to protect the poorest and most vulnerable, which should be guided by the Sustainable Development Goals. The World Bank has reserved US$160 billion to implement this strategy over the next 15 months.
The Netherlands fully supports to this approach and, specifically, asked the World Bank to take a leading role in promoting the economic recovery of countries affected by the COVID-19 crisis. The Netherlands strongly advocated for an emphasis on sustainability, education, and the provision of essential health care and food relief to countries in need. 
The Dutch government also supported the call of the World Bank and the International Monitory Fund for a temporary suspension of debt service payments to bilateral creditors by the poorest countries.


Press release - Parliament of the Netherlands (in Dutch)
 

OECD casts doubt on whether UK’s US$373 million for COVID-19 vaccine research can be counted as ODA

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD’s) Development Assistance Committee (DAC), which sets the international rules on what counts as official development assistance (ODA), not all funding for research for a COVID-19 vaccine will be counted as ODA. To qualify as ODA, funding for research and development related to COVID-19 will need to be assessed to determine whether it was spent with the economic development and welfare of low-income countries as the main objective. 

The UK has already committed £300 million (US$373 million) in ODA to supporting COVID-19 vaccine research, £250 (US$310 million) of which has been given to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness (CEPI). The OECD DAC has noted, that while core funding for CEPI will be counted as ODA in 2020 (given the institution’s focus on diseases that predominately impact low-income countries), all CEPI funding for COVID-19 vaccine research will need to be reported as earmarked funding for this purpose. It will subsequently be assessed to determine whether it meets ODA criteria. This is because the development of a COVID-19 vaccine theoretically benefits both donors and recipient countries alike. 

News article – Devex  

UK reschedules COP26 Climate Conference for November 2021

The UK has announced that COP26, the 2020 United Nations Climate Change Conference, has been rescheduled to November 2021 as a result of COVID-19. The UK was originally set to host the event in Glasgow, Scotland in November 2020. It will now take place on November 1-12, 2021.  

Twitter – Alok Sharma  

Dutch parliamentarian Wybren van Haga joins right-wing party Forum for Democracy

On May 22, 2020, independent Dutch parliamentarian Wybren van Haga announced that he would become a member of the right-wing Forum for Democracy (FvD) political party. Van Haga had been a representative of the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) in the past, but he was expelled from the VVD in 2019 and kept his seat in the parliament as an independent. Van Haga’s change of direction has no direct immediate consequences for the current cabinet, given that FvD only has two seats in parliament. 

News article - NRC (in Dutch) 

German Development Minister calls for action on conditions in Moria refugee camp, increased funding for global development cooperation

In an interview with the Berliner Zeitung, German Development Minister Gerd Müller called for increased funding for global development cooperation. “We have to see development funds as an investment in our own future,” Müller stated. Müller gave the example of climate resilience: Africa developing strong renewable energy capabilities continentally would be a prerequisite for successfully combatting climate change globally. To this end, supporting African nations in building up sustainable economies would ultimately benefit Germany as well, he said.

Müller further stressed the importance of implementing the planned federal supply chain law, drafted together with Minister of Labor Hubertus Heil. According to Müller, 50% of the German textile trade does not comply with the standards of ‘Germany’s Partnership for Sustainable Textiles’ yet. "This shows that voluntariness has its limits," Müller said. "Markets need clear rules.”

Müller repeatedly called on the EU to improve the conditions within the refugee camp Moria, currently hosting 20,000 people though suited for just 3,000. “I say it again: Moria is an eyesore in the middle of Europe. Responsibility must not be pushed back and forth forever”, he said.

News article- Berliner Zeitung (in German)

German development ministry presents new strategy on multilateral engagement

In April of 2020, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) presented its new 'BMZ strategy for a strong European and multilateral development cooperation'. The strategy aims to promote and strengthen multilateralism to effectively implement global development goals. To this end, the BMZ underlines its commitment to strengthening multilateral organizations, especially promoting increased EU engagement. According to the BMZ, the EU should act more strongly as a driving force to successfully implement the 2030 Agenda, the Paris Agreement, and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda. Additionally, the BMZ wants to take the opportunity during Germany’s EU Council Presidency to promote its focus areas (e.g. EU-Africa cooperation, sustainable supply chains, digitalization).

The strategy also commits to focus internationally on climate protection, fair trade, health, education, and sustainable development across the Africa continent. The plan will also more strongly align the BMZ’s multilateral engagement.

Report – BMZ (in German)

Dutch Development Minister highlights role of Gavi and WHO in global COVID-19 efforts

On May 11, 2020, the Dutch government published the full list of factual questions that the general committee for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation submitted to Minister Kaag, as well as her responses to those questions, many of which were linked to the role of the Netherlands in combatting COVID-19 globally.

To a question about vaccine development, Minister Kaag responded that the World Health Organization (WHO) and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance will play a central role in providing universal access to a future COVID-19 vaccine, and that the Netherlands supports the leading role of the WHO in coordinating the research and development of a vaccine.

Other questions touched on the Dutch commitment to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the context of COVID-19, the support that the Netherlands provides to the most vulnerable groups, and Official Development Assistance (ODA) allocations for COVID-19. 

Press release - Parliament of the Netherlands (in Dutch)