Norway increases support for pandemic response

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The Norwegian Government is increasing its support to the global pandemic response by NOK 2 billion. This brings Norway’s total contribution to the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, to NOK 4.5 billion.

‘This support shows how serious we are about fighting the pandemic throughout the world,’ said Minister of International Development Dag-Inge Ulstein.

Of the funding that has now been approved, NOK 1 billion has been allocated to vaccines under the International Finance Facility for Immunisation (IFFIm). This mechanism provides rapid funding to partners, with payments spread over the period from 2021–2030.

This support comes in addition to other contributions to the COVAX facility, which is the vaccines pillar of the ACT-Accelerator, through Gavi, the vaccine alliance, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation (CEPI). In total, Norway has now contributed close to NOK 3.5 billion to the development and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in developing countries.

‘We have reached the stage when new vaccines have been developed but there is still far to go to reach the target of vaccinating 20 % of the population in all countries by 2021. The support we are providing is vital to accelerate the production and development of COVID-19 vaccines. We are making progress but there is an urgent need to secure additional funding for the global effort,’ said Mr Ulstein.

NOK 780 million has been allocated to the other three pillars of the ACT Accelerator, which are: treatment, diagnostics and strengthening health systems to ensure delivery of vaccines and other medications. This support comes in addition to the allocation of NOK 95.2 million to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM). Funding channelled through GFATM will be used to alleviate the impacts of COVID-19 on AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria and to strengthen health systems in poor countries.

‘If we fail to allocate enough funding to stop the pandemic, we will pay a much higher price than if we contribute what is needed to combat the pandemic now. Global cooperation has rarely been more important,’ said Mr Ulstein.

Press contact: Tuva Bogsnes, tuva.bogsnes@mfa.no, +47 93231883