European Union provides new funding to support COVID-19 vaccination in sub-Saharan Africa – World – Community News

European Union provides new funding to support COVID-19 vaccination in sub-Saharan Africa – World

The program will reach more than 189 million people

DAKAR/NAIROBI, December 8, 2021 – UNICEF has received a new grant from the European Union’s Humanitarian Aid to help roll out COVID-19 vaccination in 12 countries in East, South, West and Central Africa. The joint 18-month program will help ensure that when vaccines arrive, countries are supported and vaccines reach the entire population, including the most vulnerable. Support will be provided through, inter alia, training of health professionals, strengthening logistics and building confidence in the use of vaccines.

The COVID-19 pandemic is putting enormous pressure on already overburdened health systems in East, South, West and Central Africa, despite concerted efforts by governments supported by UNICEF and other partners. The impact on communities and children is devastating. Children have been hit especially hard: schools have been closed for months, millions have been forced into child labor or early marriage, and millions of other children have fallen into extreme poverty.

Vaccination is an important strategy in the global COVID-19 response. However, as of December 6, 2021, only 7 percent of the African population had been fully vaccinated.

“Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the EU, its Member States and European financial institutions have come together as Team Europe, to provide support against the pandemic around the world. In addition to being a lead donor to the COVAX facility, the EU provides in total: €100 million in humanitarian aid to support the roll-out of vaccination campaigns in Africa, in partnership with the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC),” said Paraskevi Michou, Director General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection at the European Commission. “This will contribute to fair access to vaccines for vulnerable people, including in conflict-affected or difficult-to-access areas. It is also an indication of the strong cooperation between the European Commission, the African CDC, UN agencies and humanitarian partners on the ground in our joint efforts to defeat the pandemic.”

The 12 countries with critical humanitarian needs and vulnerable health systems that will benefit from this new EU humanitarian funding to roll out their vaccination campaigns are: Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mali , Nigeria, South Sudan, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on communities and children in Africa, claiming lives, affecting livelihoods and the ability of governments to provide essential services to children,” said Marie-Pierre Poirier, UNICEF regional director for West and Central Africa. “UNICEF welcomes the EU’s support to ensure that populations in the 12 countries, including parents and priority groups such as health professionals, teachers and social workers, can be vaccinated against COVID-19. Protecting them is key to restoring and improving services to children.”

With this new EU humanitarian funding, UNICEF can:

  • improve coordination and cooperation with governments, Africa CDC, WHO AFRO and partners in planning and monitoring the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines;
  • support the delivery of vaccines to priority groups through increased capacity of the health forces;
  • expanding logistics, cold chain systems and vaccine management;
  • strengthen community involvement in vaccine adoption and drive demand;
  • and provide timely and high quality technical support and supervision.

“As COVID-19 vaccines become more available in Africa, it is critical to ensure countries have the necessary tools and resources to turn vaccines into vaccines by accelerating deployment while prioritizing the most vulnerable target groups”, said Mohamed Fall, UNICEF’s regional director for Eastern and Southern Africa. “ECHO’s support for UNICEF will help make this a reality”.

Media contacts

Mathias Eick

Regional Information Officer

EU humanitarian aid

Phone: +254 722792604

Email: [email protected]

Nadia Samie-Jacobs

Communications Officer

UNICEF Africa Services Unit

Phone: +27 72 777 9399

Email: [email protected]

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