Over US$ 2 billion raised to support equitable access to COVID vaccines with additional US$ 5 billion needed in 2021

The European Commission, France, Spain, The Republic of Korea and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation pledge US$ 360 million to Gavi’s COVID-19 Vaccines Advance Market Commitment (COVAX AMC)
Latest announcements mean over US$ 2 billion has been raised towards the effort to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for low- and middle-income economies, with at least US$ 5 billion more needed in 2021
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has also pledged an additional US$ 20 million to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to support COVID-19 vaccine research and development

<p><strong></strong>Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance welcomes latest pledges in support of the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.gavi.org/vaccineswork/gavi-covax-amc-explained" title="The Gavi COVAX AMC Explained">Gavi COVAX AMC</a>, a financing mechanism that will support&nbsp;<a href="https://www.gavi.org/news/media-room/92-low-middle-income-economies-eligible-access-covid-19-vaccines-gavi-covax-amc" title="92 low- and middle-income economies eligible to get access to COVID-19 vaccines through Gavi COVAX AMC">92 low- and middle-income economies&rsquo; access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines</a>. The approximately US$360 million in commitments include US$350m announced at the Paris Peace Forum by the European Commission, France, Spain and The Bill &amp; Melinda Gates Foundation, as well as an earlier pledge of US$10 million made by the Republic of Korea. This means that over US$ 2 billion has been raised for the Gavi COVAX AMC so far, thanks to contributions from other sovereign donors, the private sector, and philanthropic sources. This funding will allow COVAX AMC to reserve and access 1 billion doses for AMC-eligible economies, with at least US$ 5 billion needed in 2021 to procure doses as they come through the portfolio.</p><p>The announcements come as 94 higher-income economies have officially joined the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.gavi.org/covax-facility" title="COVAX Facility">COVAX Facility</a>, a global effort to ensure rapid and equitable access to safe and effective&nbsp;<a href="https://www.gavi.org/covid19" title="Responding to COVID-19">COVID-19</a>&nbsp;vaccines for the most vulnerable groups across the world. These 94 self-financing participants in the COVAX Facility will join the 92 low- and middle-income economies eligible to have their participation in the Facility supported by the Gavi COVAX AMC.</p><p>&ldquo;We are incredibly grateful for the support received so far. This vital funding not only helps us ensure lower-income economies aren&rsquo;t left at the back of the queue when safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines become available, it will also play a vital role in ending the acute phase of this pandemic worldwide,&rdquo; said Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. &ldquo;However, this is not the time to take our foot off the gas. We urgently need to raise at least an additional US$ 5 billion by the end of 2021 to ensure equitable distribution of these vaccines to those who need them.&rdquo;</p><p>The details of the latest Gavi COVAX pledges received are as follows:</p><ul><li>The President of the European Commission pledged EUR 100 million (approximately US$ 120 million) with the aim to support access to vaccines in lower income countries. This amount is in addition to the EUR 400 million (approximately US$ 480 million) in guarantees approved by the European Investment Bank (EIB) on Wednesday. These commitments contribute to Team Europe, a joint effort between the Commission, EIB, the EU&rsquo;s 27 Member States, Norway and Iceland.</li><li>France confirmed that the EUR 100m (approximately US$ 120 million) pledged at the Global Vaccine Summit on June 4, as special funds for Gavi to combat COVID-19, will go towards the Gavi COVAX AMC.</li><li>Spain confirmed that EUR 50 million (approximately US$ 60 million) pledged at the Global Vaccine Summit on June 4, as special funds for Gavi to combat COVID-19, will go towards the Gavi COVAX AMC.</li><li>The Bill &amp; Melinda Gates Foundation pledged US$ 50 million to the Gavi COVAX AMC. This amount is in addition to US$ 106 million pledged by the Foundation for the COVAX AMC, bringing their total contribution to US$ 156 million.</li><li>The Republic of Korea has earlier pledged US$ 10 million of new funding to the Gavi COVAX AMC.</li></ul><p>The Bill &amp; Melinda Gates Foundation also pledged&nbsp;<a href="https://cepi.net/news_cepi/cepi-receives-funding-for-development-of-next-generation-of-covid-19-vaccine-candidates/" target="_blank">an additional US$ 20 million to CEPI</a>, which is leading COVAX vaccine research and development work to develop safe and effective vaccines which can be made available to countries participating in the COVAX Facility. Nine candidate vaccines are currently being supported by CEPI; eight of which are currently in clinical trials. Governments, vaccine manufacturers (in addition to their own R&amp;D), organisations and individuals have committed US$ 1.3 billion towards vaccine R&amp;D so far, but an additional US$800m is urgently needed to continue to move the portfolio forward.</p><p>The COVAX Facility is part of COVAX, the vaccines pillar of the&nbsp;<a target="_blank" href="https://www.who.int/publications/m/item/access-to-covid-19-tools-tracker">Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator</a>, which is co-led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and the World Health Organization (WHO) &ndash; working in partnership with developed and developing country vaccine manufacturers, UNICEF, the World Bank, civil society organisations and others. COVAX is the only global initiative that is working with governments and manufacturers to ensure COVID-19 vaccines are available worldwide to economies of all financial means.</p>

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WHO launches new roadmap on human resource strategies to ensure that all newborns survive and thrive

Rab Nov 18 , 2020
<p>Every year, an estimated 15 million babies are born preterm – before 37 weeks of pregnancy. That is more than 1 in 10 live births. Approximately 1 million children die each year worldwide due to complications from their early birth. Those that survive often face a lifetime of ill-health including disability, learning difficulties, and visual and hearing problems.</p><p>Half of the babies born at or below 32 weeks (2 months early) die in low-income settings, due to a lack of feasible, cost-effective care, such as warmth, breastfeeding support, and basic care for infections and breathing difficulties. In high-income countries, almost all these babies survive. </p><p>Today, on World Prematurity Day, WHO launched a new <em>Roadmap on human resource strategies to improve newborn care in health facilities in low- and middle-income countries</em>, aimed at improving quality of care for newborns, including small and sick babies, and supporting countries to achieve the SDG target to reduce neonatal mortality to less than 12 per 1000 live births by 2030. </p><p>As the COVID-19 pandemic overburdens already weak health systems in many countries, it is expected to increase the number of newborn deaths, particularly among babies born too soon. Disrupted essential health services, like family planning or antenatal check-ups, will leave women more at risk of preterm birth and vulnerable infants without the services they need. </p><p>“We have the power to prevent, diagnose and treat preterm birth, and save babies lives, if we invest in competent and specialized nurses and health workers to care for them,” Dr Anshu Banerjee, WHO Director for the Department of Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health and Ageing. “As more pregnant women give birth in health facilities, we must also strengthen our health workforce to provide a positive pregnancy experience for each of them.” </p><p>Survival and health outcomes of preterm newborns can be enhanced by increasing access to interventions provided to the mother shortly before or during birth as well as interventions for the newborn baby. However, the highest burden of preterm birth, death and disability is concentrated in low- and middle-income countries, where competent and specialized health workers are in short supply.  </p><p>Of the 30 million newborns who require inpatient care every year, approximately half do not have access to neonatal care services and those who have access often receive care of suboptimal quality. Skilled birth attendants, including medical doctors and midwives, are critical to the provision of high-quality newborn care and to improving newborn outcomes, not only at the time of birth and for routine postnatal care but also in health facilities to which mothers and newborns with complications are referred.</p><p>The new WHO roadmap consists of 10 strategies to guide countries in developing their policies to improve the number and competence of health workers to deliver high-quality essential care for all newborns and specialized care for small and sick newborns. It also aims to fill the gap in the numbers of health workers with specialized neonatal skills in low- and middle-income countries required to provide high-quality inpatient care for small and sick newborns.</p><p>Over the past three decades countries that have invested in their nursing and midwifery workforces have achieved sustained reductions in maternal and newborn mortality. With continued investments in universal access to high-quality newborn care an estimated 1.7 million newborns could be saved each year. Almost half of the effect would result from providing special and intensive hospital care for preterm, low-birth-weight or sick newborns. </p><div class="button button-orange-background"><a href="https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/336677/9789240015227-eng.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y">Link to new roadmap </a></div><p><span></span></p><p><span> </span></p>