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Gulf countries unite to support COVAX

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  • Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries have come together to support global equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, with pledges now totalling US$ 221 million in funding pledges and US$ 50 million in in-kind support from all six Member States, following Bahrain’s recent commitment of US$ 2.5 million in funding for the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment (Gavi COVAX AMC)

  • The Kingdom of Bahrain's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani: “The collaborative support of COVAX from GCC Member States is testament to the strength of our relations. It is only through engaging with global health partnerships, such as Gavi, that the international community will be able to suppress COVID-19.”

  • Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance: “We are delighted to see united support from the GCC Member States for COVAX. This builds on years of growing funding and assistance for Gavi’s routine immunisation programmes.”

  • The first Gulf nations pledge came from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia during its G20 Saudi Presidency back in 2020, allocating US$ 150 million to support the Gavi COVAX AMC.

Geneva, 6 October 2021 – Gulf nations have united to support COVAX, with the latest pledge coming from Bahrain in the form of US$ 2.5 million in funding. This means that all Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Member States have now provided funding and/or doses to the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment (Gavi COVAX AMC), with the first pledge from Gulf nations coming from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia during its G20 Presidency back in 2020.

This new funding pledge comes alongside other recent commitments to COVAX that bring total GCC pledges to US$ 221 million:

  • In the lead up to the Global Vaccine Summit in June 2020, during its G20 presidency, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia pledged US$ 500 million to relevant international organizations to support global efforts in combatting the COVID-19 pandemic, and allocated US$ 150 million to support the Gavi COVAX AMC.

  • SAR 20 million (US$ 5.3mn) was also pledged by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia through KSrelief.

  • The Saudi-based Gamers Without Borders initiative contributed $1.3mn in 2020 and pledged a further US$ 958,500 in August 2021. The funds are channelled to Gavi by KSrelief.

  • The State of Kuwait became a Gavi donor in August 2020 when it pledged US$ 10 million for the Gavi COVAX AMC – it built on that with an additional donation in June 2021, bringing its total contribution to COVAX to US$ 50 million.

  • At the Global Vaccine Summit in June in 2020, Qatar pledged US$ 10 million to the COVAX AMC as a new AMC donor.

  • In June 2021, the Sultanate of Oman announced a pledge of US$ 1 million to the Gavi COVAX AMC.

In addition, the United Arab Emirates has pledged US$ 50 million of in-kind support for COVAX AMC and the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator more broadly, which includes shipping of 25 million doses through COVAX and the donation of 1 million doses of the Sinopharm vaccine (Hayat-Vax).

Commenting on the recent donation, the Kingdom of Bahrain's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani stressed: “We are pleased to announce the Kingdom of Bahrain’s continued support for and this contribution to COVAX. International outreach and cooperation is at the heart of Bahrain’s ethos, and we are firm believers that the global pandemic requires cross-border solutions to suppress the virus. To truly overcome the pandemic, a universal approach is necessary to ensure no country is left behind. This shall be accomplished through a collaborative approach facilitated by knowledge and skills sharing, humanitarian assistance, or as in this case, through financial donations. The collaborative support of COVAX from GCC Member States is testament to the strength of our relations. It is only through engaging with global health partnerships, such as Gavi, that the international community will be able to suppress COVID-19.”

“We are delighted to see united support from the GCC Member States for COVAX,” said Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. “This builds on years of growing funding and assistance for Gavi’s routine immunisation programmes.”

Over US$ 9.8 billion in funding has been pledged by donors to the Gavi COVAX AMC, as well as over 600 million doses by a number of countries in response to short-term supply challenges and the rise of new variants. Working with donor governments to operationalise growing numbers of dose-sharing pledges, COVAX expects to see more deliveries of donated doses in the weeks and months to come.