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Donor Tracker seeks feedback on how to better serve advocacy community

The Donor Tracker team wants to better understand its users' experience and to gather ideas about how we can make the Donor Tracker even more valuable to the global development community throughout the rest of 2020 and beyond. That's where we could use your help. We've put together a short survey to ask you directly about how you use the Donor Tracker, which content and features you find most useful, and the kinds of things you would like to see. Your responses will shape and inform new features that we bring to the website.

Survey - Donor Tracker

Twitter - Donor Tracker

WHO and European Commission launch Facilitation Council, call for increased resources for global COVID-19 response

The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, launched the first-ever meeting of the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A) Facilitation Council on September 10, 2020. The Facilitation Council will oversee ACT-A’s work towards creating an end-to-end global solution to addressing the COVID-19 crisis by accelerating the development, regulatory approval, manufacturing, delivery, and equitable allocation of COVID-19 medical tools, such as tests, treatments, and vaccines. 
The Facilitation Council is composed of representatives from ACT-A founders, governments, civil society, philanthropy and international organizations. It will provide support, guidance, and knowledge sharing for ACT-A’s delivery partners. During its first meeting, both co-hosts called for a significant scale-up in resources to bridge the funding gap of US$35 billion in ACT-A financing needs. 
Press release - European Commission

European Commission concludes talks with BioNTech-Pfizer on future COVID-19 vaccine deal

The European Commission has concluded its exploratory talks with BioNTech-Pfizer, the sixth vaccine manufacturer in its portfolio, on purchasing its COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

The contract with BioNTech-Pfizer is expected to include an initial purchase of 200 million doses with an additional 100 million doses optioned if the vaccine is safe and effective. The contract would also include provisions allowing all EU member states to purchase the vaccine, donate vaccines to low- and middle-income countries, or redirect vaccines to other European countries. 
Press release - European Commission

European Commission begins talks with seventh vaccine manufacturer while calling for more funding for COVID-19 vaccine deals

The European Commission (EC) has begun negotiations with a seventh pharmaceutical company, Novavax, to advance the purchase of a potential COVID-19 vaccine.

The EC has already concluded talks with CureVac, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Sanofi-GSK, has signed a contract with AstraZeneca, and is still in negotiations with BioNTech/Pfizer.

During a recently held Council videoconference, most EU health ministers supported topping up the Emergency Support Instrument (the fund the EC is using to pay for down payments on vaccine deals) with an additional €750 million (US$887 million) to respond to the Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides’ call for further funds. 
News article - Politico

EU to contribute US$456 million in guarantees to COVAX Facility

The EU announced its participation in the COVAX facility for global, equitable purchasing and procurement of vaccines and contributed €400 million (US$456 million) in guarantees to purchase future COVID-19 vaccines for low- and middle-income countries.

COVAX, which is run by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, WHO, and Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness (CEPI), is the ‘vaccine pillar’ of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, a global collaboration to develop, manufacture, and equitably distribute COVID-19 vaccines.

Further details on how the EU will participate in COVAX is still being negotiated. The European Commission also plans to continue negotiating complementary bilateral deals with vaccine manufacturers for EU markets.
Press release - European Commission
News article - Science|Business

European Investment Bank releases US$115 million of emergency financing for Morocco’s COVID-19 response

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has released an initial €100 million (US$115 million) of a €200 million (US$230 million) financing support package to assist Morocco in responding to emergency COVID-19 response needs in the country. The financing will enable Morocco to procure medical supplies and equipment while also assisting in strengthening the country's health care facilities.

Press release - EIB

European Investment Bank to provide US$34 million loan for tuberculosis vaccine development in Africa

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has agreed to provide a €30 million (US$34 million) loan to a vaccine manufacturer to support the development of an improved tuberculosis vaccine for infants, particularly in high-risk HIV+ populations. The loan beneficiary, Vakzine Projekt Management, a German subsidiary of Serum Institute of India (SIIPL), is working to develop a safer, more effective vaccine for newborn infants to replace the Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG) vaccine – the only tuberculosis vaccine currently available – as the primary vaccine for infants. The contingent loan will only require repayment if a vaccine candidate receives market authorization; otherwise, the loan will be written off. 
Press release - European Investment Bank

European Commission concludes exploratory talks on possible COVID-19 vaccine with CureVac

The European Commission (EC) has concluded exploratory talks with CureVac regarding the purchase of 225 million vaccines given a successful development of the vaccine.

"We are doing everything we can to provide Europe and developing countries with sufficient vaccines quickly,” said Dutch Minister of Health, Hugo de Jong, referring to Dutch pledges to donate vaccines to vulnerable countries.

The Joint Negotiation Team, representing the EC, Spain, Sweden, Poland, and the four countries of the Inclusive Vaccine Alliance (Germany, France, Italy, and the Netherlands) has been responsible for conducting negotiations on promising COVID-19 vaccines.

Press release – Dutch government (in Dutch)

European Commission concludes exploratory talks on possible COVID-19 vaccine with Moderna

The European Commission has concluded its exploratory talks with US-based biotech company Moderna on purchasing its potential COVID-19 vaccine.

Moderna is the fifth vaccine manufacturer the Commission has finished negotiations with on purchasing COVID-19 vaccine candidates. The potential advance purchase contract with Moderna would include an initial purchase of 80 million doses and the possibility of an additional 80 million doses if the vaccine is safe and effective. The contract would also include provisions allowing all EU member states to purchase the vaccine, donate vaccines to low- and middle-income countries, or redirect vaccines to other European countries. 
Press release - European Commission

EU supports newly launched consortium aimed at accelerating development of COVID-19 therapies

The EU’s public-private Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) is supporting Corona Accelerated R&D in Europe (CARE) with a grant of €77 million (US$89 million). CARE is a newly launched five-year consortium of 37 partners and the largest effort so far to accelerate the discovery and development of COVID-19 therapies.

The funding comes from EU contributions, 11 European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) companies, and three IMI Associated Partners.  
Press release - Boehringer Ingelheim

EU’s 'external action' budget is insufficient, say German Development Minister and leader of European People's Party

In a joint open editorial published in the German newspaper “Handelsblatt”, German Development Minister Gerd Müller and the Leader of the European People's Party in the European Parliament, Manfred Weber, called on the EU to increase the budget for the EU’s ‘external action` in the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) 2021-2027. They also suggested abandoning the unanimity rule to ensure the EU’s ability to act in its foreign and development policy. 

Pointing to persisting wars as well as global challenges such as climate change, food insecurity, and the COVID-19 pandemic, they outlined the need for a united Europe willing to take geopolitical responsibility in a turbulent world. However, with less than 10% of the budget currently earmarked for its external action, Europe denies itself the ability to act, they stated.

Müller and Weber further highlighted the importance of funding for an effective Africa strategy to enable the continent to become economically self-sustaining. To this end, new instruments such as a European Investment and Development Bank would be necessary, they said.

News article – Handelsblatt (in German)

European Commission strikes first purchasing deal for future COVID-19 vaccines with AstraZeneca

The European Commission reached its first deal to purchase future potential COVID-19 vaccines through a newly signed agreement with AstraZeneca. The deal includes the option to purchase 300 million doses and 100 million more on behalf of EU member states, should the vaccine prove to be effective. The deal would also allow the EU to donate vaccine doses to low-and middle-income countries or to redirect these doses to other European countries.

AstraZeneca’s vaccine candidate is currently in large-scale phase II/III clinical trials. The Commission has also been in negotiations with Sanofi-GSK and Johnson & Johnson on COVID-19 vaccine advance-purchasing deals.
Press release - European Commission

European Commission concludes talks with Johnson & Johnson on purchasing future COVID-19 vaccine

The European Commission concluded talks with Johnson & Johnson (J&J) to advance purchase of the J&J’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate. The potential contract would include an initial purchase of 200 million doses and the possibility of an additional 200 million doses. The contract would also include provisions allowing all EU member states to purchase the vaccine, donate vaccines to low- and middle-income countries, or redirect vaccines to other European countries. 
Press release - European Commission

EU to fund 23 research projects on COVID-19 response with US$147 million

The European Commission has selected 23 new research projects to support with €128 million (US$147 million) in funding as a part of its €1.4 billion (US$1.6 billion) pledge to the Coronavirus Global Response initiative, which it helped launch.

The research projects are aimed at studying several key aspects of the crisis including:

  • Analyzing measures for strengthening industrial capacity for manufacturing and deploying COVID19-related products;
  • Understanding the behavioral and socio-economic impacts of the pandemic; and
  • Developing methods for enhancing collaboration of existing EU and international cohorts.

Participating research teams span over 40 countries, including 16 non-EU countries. 

Press release - European Commission

European Commission commits US$73 million in emergency funding for Lebanon

The European Commission has pledged to provide €63 million (US$73 million) in emergency humanitarian assistance to Lebanon in response to the explosion in Beirut on August 4, 2020 and its impact on the Lebanese people.

In a phone call with Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen committed €30 million (US$34 million) in financial support, in addition to teams of trained specialists in search-and-rescue and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear detection, as well as other support. During an international pledging conference for Lebanon held August 9, the European Commission pledged a further €33 million (US$38 million) in to address the immediate needs of those impacted by the explosion. 

Press release - European Commission
Read-out - European Commission
News article - Euractiv

Donor Tracker to host webinar on climate finance and role of ODA

Join the Donor Tracker this Thursday, August 6, 2020, from 16:00-17:00 (CEST), for a webinar addressing the pressing need for international climate finance in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

In 2015, the latest in a series of global climate change agreements was signed in Paris. The Paris Agreement includes a pledge made by donor countries to mobilize US$100 billion a year by 2020 for climate action in LMICs. This upcoming Donor Tracker webinar will examine the role that ODA can and should play in funding for climate action, including the US$100 billion target. It will include an overview of trends in ODA-related climate funding and policies by Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) donors.

This webinar, and our recently published report on climate finance and ODA, complements the recent addition of ‘Climate’ as a sector of analysis across the Donor Tracker Donor Profiles. Climate was added this year in recognition of the importance of climate action to the future of global development efforts.

Registration - Zoom

EIB and African Export-Import Bank to provide US$344 million in financing for sub-Saharan Africa’s COVID-19 response

The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) are channeling €300 million (US$344 million) to sub-Saharan African countries to support recovery and resilience efforts in their COVID-19 responses.

The package includes a reallocation of €200 million (US$229 million) toward sectors most impacted by the pandemic, as well as an additional €100 million (US$115 million) of new funds. The funds will go toward working capital for businesses to keep jobs and maintain imports. At least a quarter of the funds will be dedicated to climate action, some will help enable cross-border trade of medical supplies and equipment, and some will target businesses owned or managed by women. 
Press release - EIB 

European Commission nears deal with pharmaceutical company to reserve 300 million COVID-19 vaccine doses for European member states

The European Commission wrapped up talks with the pharmaceutical company Sanofi-GSK on a potential contract to reserve future COVID-19 vaccine doses for EU member states’ populations.

Once signed, the agreement would allow EU member states to purchase 300 million doses of Sanofi-GSK’s vaccine candidate, provided it is proven to be safe and effective against COVID-19. In line with its recently released European Vaccines Strategy, the Commission is also in talks with other vaccine manufacturers to ensure Europeans have rapid access to potentially successful vaccine candidates.
Press release - European Commission

EU delivers 1,000+ tons of medical assistance to Africa, Asia, Americas through Team Europe's Humanitarian Air Bridge

The EU has delivered more than 1,000 tons of medical assistance to areas in critical need in Africa, Asia, and the Americas to support their COVID-19 responses.

The supplies were transported through the EU Humanitarian Air Bridge, which offers air transport capacity to support humanitarian assistance logistics. The air bridge flights are a part of the ‘Team Europe’ collective effort on behalf of European institutions and EU member states to support partner countries’ COVID-19 responses. 
Press release - European Commission

Donor Tracker to host webinar on gender equality and donor finance for women's economic empowerment

Join Donor Tracker this Friday, July 24 from 15:00-16:00 (CEST) for a webinar exploring donor financing for women’s economic empowerment, featuring analysis from the Donor Tracker team and our partner, the ONE Campaign.

Gender equality, including women's financial inclusion and economic empowerment, has gained increasing attention from the international donor community in recent years; but to what extent can donors' rhetorical commitment to the issue be seen reflected in data on donors' financing for women's economic empowerment? In this Donor Tracker webinar, Kalila Jaeger and Isabela Vera from the Donor Tracker and Ebba Henningsson from ONE will guide participants through an introduction to the OECD’s gender equality policy marker, discuss the current state of donor finance for gender-related development programming, and explore trends in donor countries' spending on economic empowerment initiatives for women.

Registration - Zoom