OTTAWA — Canada’s foreign aid budget is swelling noticeably today with International Development Minister Karina Gould’s announcement of $485 million in new funding towards the global effort to provide COVID-19 vaccines to poor countries.
The new funds are going towards the Access to COVID-19 Tools, or “ACT Accelerator,” which was created in April by the World Health Organization, the French government, the European Commission and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The ACT Accelerator is part of a global effort to ensure low- and middle-income countries have equitable access to medical treatments during the pandemic.
It supports organizations, health professionals and businesses in their efforts to develop vaccines, as well as drug therapies and diagnostic tools to battle the pandemic.
Today’s announcement includes $255 million in additional support for the ACT Accelerator through “focused investments” in the World Health Organization, the Pan-American Health Organization, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, which distributes vaccines in poor countries.
Canada has now committed more than $865 million to the ACT-Accelerator and has also pledged $220 million to its partner initiative, the COVAX Facility, to help buy vaccine doses for low- and middle-income countries.