As part of the European Union’s efforts to support vaccination in partner countries, the Commission today increased from €40 million to €75 million its assistance package to deploy safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines and speed up the vaccination campaigns in the six Eastern Partnership countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine.
With this new €35 million assistance package the EU seeks to substantially increase access to vaccines in the Eastern Partnership region amid the global vaccine shortage, facilitating the vaccine sharing by the EU Member States and reimbursing the cost. This assistance complements the EU’s support to the COVAX initiative, the world’s facility to ensure fair and universal access to COVID-19 vaccines, and work towards an equitable and transparent distribution of vaccines over the Eastern Partner countries.
It comes in addition to the first package of support worth €40 million, launched in February to immediately strengthen preparedness and local readiness for safe and effective vaccination of the population, in partnership with the World Health Organization. EU support included training of health managers and medical staff involved in the vaccination campaign, key logistical support for the delivery and handling of the vaccines and supplies, vaccination data and safety monitoring, communication and community engagement, as well as support for the development of a digital COVID certificate.
Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement, Olivér Várhelyi said: “The devastating COVID-19 pandemic has put an unprecedented strain on people, health systems and economies worldwide. The Eastern Partnership is unfortunately no exception. The EU is determined to support our Eastern neighbours to speed up vaccination as this will be decisive for ending the pandemic and launching the socio-economic recovery of the region. We care for our partners.”