News item | 29-09-2021 | 8:00 pm
The Netherlands is allocating an extra 95 million euros to help low- and middle-income countries in the fight against the corona virus. Minister De Bruijn (Development Cooperation) announced this on Wednesday in Geneva during a meeting with four health organizations, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the vaccination alliance GAVI.
The extra contribution for 2021 is intended for the and 2022 Access to COVID Tools Accelerator, an international initiative to fight corona. Of the amount 75 million euros was spent on strengthening health care in developing countries. This concerns, for example, the training of medical personnel and the availability of medical protective equipment. In addition, 20 concerns the purchase of safe million euros, effective and affordable vaccines for countries that do not have enough money for this themselves.
The new funds come on top of the existing Dutch contribution of 147 million euros to the international initiative. The Netherlands is thus responding to the WHO’s repeated call for extra support for poorer countries in the corona crisis.
Strengthening healthcare systems
Minister De Bruijn argues for a commitment that goes beyond vaccines. Corona has removed the already limited capacity for mainstream care in developing countries, strong maternal and child care is under great pressure and the number of tests and treatments for infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis is reduced.
De Bruijn: ‘These two effects of the pandemic lead to more stories than the pandemic itself. Poor countries are hit hardest. Even before corona, hospitals were struggling with undercapacity. In addition to corona, there are other health crises, such as HIV/AIDS. In addition, women and girls are the first to miss out on essential care as the most vulnerable. Infectious diseases can spread quickly. That is why this additional contribution is also in the interest of the Netherlands. I urge other countries to do the same. We can only cope with the pandemic by strengthening the systems in poorer countries.’
Minister De Bruijn will be in Geneva on Wednesdays and Thursdays. On Wednesday evening, he spoke with WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, among others. On Thursday, he will meet UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, Director-General of the International Organization for Migration António Vitorino and Director-General of the World Trade Organization Ngozi Okonjo-Iwela. Humanitarian crises, including those in Afghanistan, and the importance of trade for sustainable economic development are addressed during these meetings.
Overview of the distribution of the additional contribution of 95 million euros for 2021 and 2022
|20 million euros||COVAX||Purchase vaccines|
|15 million euros||Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria||Strengthening health systems|
|30 million euros||Global Finance Facility||Health care women and girls|
|30 million euros||World Health Organisation||Strengthening health systems|