Toronto, 25 September 2020 – The Government of Canada today demonstrated continued leadership in global health with a welcome new commitment of $440 million towards the global COVAX Facility, including a critical $220 million to help the world’s poorest access COVID-19 vaccines once these are developed.
UNICEF Canada welcomes the Government of Canada’s commitment to ensure that access to the eventual COVID-19 vaccine is equitable and available to all, including the highest risk populations world-wide, regardless of income level.
As the world’s largest single vaccine buyer, UNICEF is pleased to be leading efforts to procure and supply doses of COVID-19 vaccines for the 92 low- and lower middle-income countries on behalf of the COVAX Facility. The vaccine purchases for these countries will be supported through the Gavi COVAX AMC and provide a buffer stockpile for humanitarian emergencies, where needs are often most acute.
The COVAX Facility aims to provide the world with the best chance that safe, efficacious COVID-19 vaccines are rapidly available and affordable for all. By contributing to the COVAX Facility and specifically the Advance Market Commitment, the Government of Canada has demonstrated that Canada understands that the global COVID-19 pandemic can only be defeated through a coordinated global response.
UNICEF Canada applauds Canada’s decision to ensure the additional funding for the COVAX Facility commitment does not come at the expense of funding for existing global priorities. With the COVID-19 pandemic severely impacting children’s access to life-saving immunization and nutrition, as well as women and girls’ access to reproductive health, Canada’s commitment to existing global health priorities must continue to remain unwavering.
We look forward to collaboration with the Government of Canada and Canadian donors to make sure that all countries have safe, fast and equitable access to the initial vaccine doses when they are available.
At UNICEF Canada, our top priority remains securing life-saving and life-changing investments and services in children. We are committed to making sure that girls and boys in even the most remote or challenging contexts are able to safely be vaccinated, with enough doses, syringes and community health-workers for every child.