Virtual G7 Summit Germany makes available 1.5 billion euros to help fight COVID-19 in developing countries

Press release of 19.02.2021 | BERLIN – At the virtual G7 meeting Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel today announced an additional 1.5 billion euros for measures to fight COVID-19. Of that total, 1 billion euros is for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. The rest of the funds is intended to strengthen WHO and research on vaccines, in particular with regard to mutations.

Vaccination of young children at the Kibati Goma health centre in the Democratic Republic of Congo (image from 2018)

Vaccination of young children at the Kibati Goma health centre in the Democratic Republic of Congo (image from 2018)

Vaccination of young children at the Kibati Goma health centre in the Democratic Republic of Congo (image from 2018)

In a statement, German Development Minister Gerd Müller said:

"The commitment made by Germany at the G7 Summit sends an important message: we will either beat COVID-19 worldwide or not at all. With nearly one billion euros of the funding committed, Germany will be supporting Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. The German Chancellor is leading the way and conveying this important message of international solidarity. A global vaccination campaign is the only road out of the pandemic! It must not fail for lack of financing. Both for humanitarian reasons and in our own interest. Because it will not be enough to control the spread of the disease only within Europe. Otherwise it will come back - possibly in even more dangerous form."

"So far, however, only 0.5 per cent of vaccinations have taken place in the poorest countries," Müller continued. "The aim is for at least 20 per cent of the population in the developing countries to be vaccinated by the end of the year. But the funding for that has still not been secured, even after the G7 Summit. The G20 and the EU must also increase their efforts. More needs to be done internationally. Because vaccines are a global good. We need to ensure that those people in the developing countries who have been hardest hit are also sufficiently vaccinated."

Dr Seth Berkley, head of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, which is leading the implementation of Covax, said:

"Germany's support for the Gavi COVAX AMC sends a signal that the international community is more committed to equitable, global access to COVID-19 vaccines than ever and is a major boost to our efforts to end the acute phase of the pandemic. We thank Germany for its leadership in the field of global health security, and all our other donors that have so far stepped up to pledge much-needed AMC funding."

  • The rich countries have secured two thirds of the doses of vaccine for themselves although they account for only 16 per cent of the world's population.
  • So far, only 0.5 per cent of vaccinations have taken place in the poorest countries.
  • The first doses will be delivered in February via Covax to 18 developing countries, including Tunisia, Mali, Rwanda, Bolivia and the Philippines.
  • Some 340 million doses of the Astra Zeneca vaccine (240 million of which are produced by Serum Institute of India under a licencing agreement) and 1 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine will be delivered in a first tranche.
  • The aim is to have 20 per cent of the people in 92 developing countries and emerging economies vaccinated by the end of the year. The most vulnerable groups, in particular healthcare personnel and elderly people, are to be protected in the course of the first six months.
  • Even for that group the funding was not secured before the summit.