TORONTO, 19 February 2021 – Today, as we near the first anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic next month, the Group of Seven (G7) Leaders undertook groundbreaking collaboration to fight the virus through investments in the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator.
Canada has been an early and strong supporter of the ACT Accelerator which is designed to speed up the development, production, and equitable distribution of COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines, and to strengthen health systems around the world.
The Canadian Partnership for Women and Children’s Health (CanWaCH) and UNICEF Canada welcome Canada’s continued leadership in global health demonstrated through the announcement of $75 million in new funding for the ACT Accelerator. This investment is in addition to the $865 million Canada has already committed, bringing Canada’s total contribution to $940 million towards this collaborative effort.
In response to the pandemic, the Government of Canada has announced over $1.6 billion in global funding commitments. Canada was among the first countries to announce a major contribution to the COVAX Advanced Market Commitment (AMC) and has committed over $325 million to help ensure COVAX can provide vaccines for the high-risk populations in 92 low- and middle-income countries.
“CanWaCH and its members stand prepared to continue the important work that lies ahead in making sure that everyone, everywhere, has access to lifesaving tests, treatments, and vaccines.” said Julia Anderson, Chief Executive Officer of CanWaCH. “We must also ensure that health systems in every country are equipped to deliver them effectively and we will continue to press for Canada’s continued leadership.”
“UNICEF is proud to be leading the global delivery of COVID-19 vaccines, and of the contributions of Canadians to our international response. Today’s announcement from Canada marks an added and much needed commitment, which we stand ready to support,” said David Morley, President and CEO of UNICEF Canada. “We must ensure equitable access to vaccines, and investments in strong health systems, including in health and social workers who support the most vulnerable children and families around the world.”
Building on years of experience in providing vaccines for almost half of the world’s children, UNICEF is leading efforts to procure and supply COVID-19 vaccines for 171 countries on behalf of the COVAX Facility. UNICEF is also working to support countries to ‘ready’ their immunization programs for this historic roll-out, which includes helping countries to strengthen their cold and supply chains, training health workers, and working with communities in addressing misinformation and building trust in vaccines.