Gavi COVAX AMC: a shot in the arm for international cooperation

Paris Peace Forum
4 min readNov 5, 2020

By Dr Seth Berkley (CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance)

Never has the development of vaccines been so widely anticipated as for COVID-19, and arguably never has so much been at stake. Because without COVID-19 vaccines, we cannot bring this crisis to a swift end. This has focused the world’s attention on the critical role vaccines play in protecting lives, livelihoods and economies. But vaccines do more than save lives; they help foster equitable, peaceful and stable societies. The economic, political and social benefits of immunisation mean that countries in conflict need COVID-19 vaccines at the same time as countries at peace — regardless of whether they can afford to pay.

To sustain peaceful societies, countries must build trust and social cohesion, reduce hate and violence, strengthen economic resilience, ensure inclusion of women and marginalised groups, and so much more — in addition to providing essential services. Against the backdrop of the “worst recession since World War II,” the pandemic is “profoundly affecting” peace and security across the globe.

More than 40% of the global poor live in conflict- and violence-affected economies. In fragile settings — the places most deeply affected by conflicts, forced displacement and natural disasters — the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic are compounded. A new report from the World Bank estimates that by 2021, the pandemic may push up to 150 million people into extreme poverty, living on less than US$ 1.90 a day. Many are likely to live in congested urban settings, to work in sectors most affected by lockdowns and mobility restrictions, to be informal workers and unreached by social services. Many will be in countries with already high poverty rates; about 82% will be in middle-income countries.

The only way to protect people in all corners of the world from COVID-19 is through the COVAX Facility. Co-created and coordinated by my organisation, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance — working with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the World Health Organization (WHO) — COVAX is the biggest multilateral effort since the Paris climate agreement and the world’s best hope of bringing this pandemic to the swiftest possible end, because it is the only truly global solution that…

Paris Peace Forum

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