Norway pledges NOK 100 million to support vaccine access for low- and middle-income countries

Norway is pledging NOK 100 million to support access for low- and middle-income countries to COVID-19 vaccines once they are developed.

Prime Minister Erna Solberg is participating at the summit Global Goal: Unite for our Future today. ‘Norway is pledging a contribution of NOK 100 million to the COVID-19 Global Vaccine Access Facility,’ Ms Solberg said.   

Norway’s contribution will go to the COVID-19 Global Vaccine Access Facility (Covax Facility), a global funding and distribution mechanism designed to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.

‘Norway’s contribution will help to ensure that low- and middle-income countries have access to COVID-19 vaccines at affordable prices,’ said Minister of International Development Dag-Inge Ulstein. 

Global Goal: Unite for our Future is a campaign launched by President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and Hugh Evans, CEO of the international advocacy organisation Global Citizen. 

The aim of the summit is to raise enough funds to accelerate the development, production and distribution of vaccines, treatments and tests for COVID-19 and to support poor countries in dealing with the impacts of the pandemic. The pledging summit will be followed by a major concert hosted by actor Dwayne Johnson and featuring performances by well-known singers and activists such as Miley Cyrus and Shakira.

The summit is a follow-up to the global collaboration launched on 24 April by the World Health Organization (WHO) and a group of countries and other key stakeholders, based on a common vision to protect the planet from human suffering and the devastating social and economic consequences of COVID-19. Norway has supported the campaign from the outset. On 4 May, a donor conference was held at which a large group of world leaders pledged contributions totalling EUR 10 billion (NOK 100 billon). Despite this huge sum, more funding is needed to ensure an effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic.   

‘I am impressed by the way the world has come together and mobilised significant resources so that we can develop and produce vaccines and treatments. We will only succeed in stopping the pandemic if we work together and unite around a global response. The costs involved are huge, but they are small compared to the costs of the pandemic in terms of human suffering, economic decline and the risk of political and social unrest. Failing to provide the funding needed to ensure an effective response is something we simply cannot afford to do,’ said Ms Solberg, who has spearheaded the campaign this time too, together with the President of the European Commission, the CEO of Global Citizen and a number of other heads of state and government. 

Prime Minister Erna Solberg will participate in a roundtable discussion with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations Amina Mohammed, WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, and a number of singers and activists. 

Through its role in establishing and supporting the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and its contributions to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, Norway has placed itself at the forefront of the effort to ensure equitable global access to vaccines.

‘We will continue our international efforts to ensure that any vaccine that is developed is made readily available in both rich and low-income countries. In our view, it is vital to work with other countries, global health actors and civil society to ensure equitable global access to vaccines,’ Mr Ulstein said