Ottawa – Immunizing a critical mass of the world’s population is crucial in getting the COVID-19 pandemic under control. Many countries in the Global South, however, continue to encounter challenges in getting vaccines into arms, particularly in remote communities. Strengthening all levels of health care—local, regional and national—is critical to supporting vaccine distribution, as is promoting vaccine confidence and uptake.
Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada, today announced $200 million in funding for a new signature initiative aimed at supporting vaccine delivery and distribution in 13 targeted countries, most of them in Africa. Canada’s Global Initiative for Vaccine Equity (CanGIVE) will support country-led efforts to enhance vaccine delivery and distribution, increase vaccine confidence and generate demand, as well as support local production of vaccines. This important initiative includes $100 million for Unicef to build up vaccine logistics and supply chains and to strengthen health care systems while also undertaking surge vaccination campaigns and targeted programming to increase vaccine uptake.
With vaccine supply no longer the key constraint in combatting COVID-19 around the world, this new initiative builds on Canada’s long-standing commitment to investing in and supporting health systems worldwide. Stronger and more resilient health systems are essential not only to increasing COVID-19 vaccination for the most vulnerable but also to containing future outbreaks.
Along with CanGIVE, Canada continues to work with its Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A) partners to speed up equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, tests and treatments.
“Together we can find the best path forward to find solutions tailored to each community, country and region. Through Canada’s Global Initiative for Vaccine Equity, we can champion approaches to supporting countries in reaching the goals they set for themselves. In partnership, we can dismantle the barriers that are holding back people in vulnerable situations. – Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada