The UK has raised $1bn for the COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC), aimed at securing vaccines against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), through match-funding other donors.
Of this amount, the UK has pledged aid of £548m, which will help distribute 1bn doses of COVID-19 vaccines to 92 developing countries in 2021.
The investment will help stop the spread of the virus and prevent future infection waves, whilst helping a global recovery from the pandemic. The UK is using its aid budget, scientific expertise, and diplomatic leverage to strengthen global health in countries around the world.
In Egypt, the UK has recently committed £1m through the World Health Organization (WHO), to support the Egyptian government’s rapid response, surveillance, and infection control capacities for COVID-19.
The announcement of the billion dollar fund coincides with a three-day virtual visit to London by the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, António Guterres, as part of the UK’s commemoration of the UN’s 75th anniversary.
During his visit, Guterres met with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab. He also attended a commemorative event alongside Lord Ahmad, Minister for South Asia and the Commonwealth at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and civil society representatives.
Gathering to celebrate the WHO’s achievements, participants discussed how to strengthen and increase international collaboration in areas such as gender and health.
Raab said, “It is fitting that, on the 75th anniversary of the UN, the UK has led with our allies to make one billion doses of coronavirus vaccine available to vulnerable countries.”
He added, “We’ll only be safe from this virus, when we’re all safe, which is why we’re focused on a global solution to a global problem.”
For his part, Guterres said, “At this time of new global turmoil, I am honoured to virtually visit the UK to mark that occasion, renew our cause of overcoming global challenges together, and celebrate a country that was instrumental in creating the UK and which remains, today, a crucial member state, not least in the run-up to COP26 in Glasgow.”