Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, and UNICEF Announce $150 Million Guarantee to Support Access to Vaccines and Health Supplies in Low- and Middle-Income Countries
New four-year commitment will help UNICEF procure COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines; mitigate the pandemic’s disruption of routine immunization; and support the procurement of other essential health supplies
SEATTLE – STOCKHOLM – COPENHAGEN (November 12, 2021) – The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), and UNICEF today announced a $150 million financial guarantee to help UNICEF procure vaccines and other health-related supplies for low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).
This financing, effective through 2025, will help sustain national immunization programs, including COVID-19 vaccination campaigns, and enable the timely procurement of essential health supplies while domestic financing is mobilized. Many low- and middle-income countries rely on UNICEF’s procurement services to secure access to a wide array of affordable essential health supplies as part of their emergency response and to meet routine needs. With the COVID-19 pandemic putting decades of work to improve child survival in jeopardy, this new financing will help improve the sustainable and reliable availability of essential and often lifesaving health supplies, such as diagnostics, syringes, and oxygen concentrators.
“The world cannot have a system in which supplies that are critical to improving the health of all people are auctioned to the highest bidder, forcing poorer countries to go without,” said Chris Elias, president of the Global Development Division at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “Access to diagnostics, treatments, vaccines and other essential health supplies is critical to ensuring that countries can protect their people against COVID-19 and other health threats. This financial commitment will ensure that UNICEF is well-equipped to continue procuring affordable, lifesaving tools for those most in need.”
“We at Sida are thrilled that we can deploy innovative financing mechanisms together with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to allow UNICEF to scale up their operations,” said Cecilia Scharp, director of International Organisations and Policy Support at Sida. “Health systems in low- and middle-income countries are disproportionally affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and access to health commodities is of vital importance to combat impacts of the pandemic.”…