Biden to announce US release of $4bln for vaccines to poor nations

Washington, Feb 19 (FN Agency) US President Joe Biden will announce at the G7 gathering on Friday that the United States will release $4 billion for an international initiative to supply coronavirus vaccines to poor countries, the White House said.

“The United States will provide an initial $2 billion contribution to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance for the COVAX Advance Market Commitment, the innovative financing instrument of the COVAX Facility, which supports access to safe and effective vaccines for 92 low- and middle-income economies,” the White House said in a fact sheet released ahead of the virtual summit. An additional $2 billion will be made available through 2022 dependent on donor pledges being fulfilled and initial vaccine doses delivered. “We also call on our G7 and other partners to work alongside Gavi, to bring in billions more in resources to support global COVID-19 vaccination, and to target urgent vaccine manufacturing, supply, and delivery needs,” the White House said.

The funds were appropriated by a bipartisan Congressional vote in December 2020. Former US President Donald Trump refused to participate in the COVAX initiative because of its ties to the World Health Organization (WHO). Trump withdrew the United States from the WHO after accusing it of attempts to cover up China’s alleged responsibility for the coronavirus pandemic.