Pandemic Response Report Card: Team Europe

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… since President Ursula von der Leyen said “We need to produce [the vaccine] and to deploy it to every single corner of the world. And make it available at affordable prices. This vaccine will be our universal, common good.”

What’s next?

Team Europe was among the first and loudest voices for a global response when the pandemic first hit. In 2022, it must renew urgency and action to deliver on the bloc’s ambitious promises to vaccinate the world. This year, the EU can make the biggest impact by increasing access to vaccines and treatments in low- and lower-middle income countries in 2022, both by stepping-up its financial support to the ACT-Accelerator, and by supporting the WHO’s Technology Transfer Hub and the TRIPS waiver at the WTO. The European Commission only committed $629 million out of the $2.2 billion asked for in 2021, and it must commit at least $1.4 billion more in 2022 to meet its fair-share.

Second, the EU must accelerate the execution of its commitment to share 700 million doses by mid-2022, which includes at least 300 million doses committed by Member States, and another 200 million the European Commission aims to deliver by mid-2022. To date, only 370.0 million doses have been delivered by EU countries.The European Commission & Member States should not only expedite the roll-out, but also support partners by publishing detailed monthly calendars, setting out where and when promised doses will be shared.

Finally, while the European Commission does not hold Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), EU Member States received a third of the new $650 billion allocation. However, despite a number of EU leaders endorsing an initial target of $100 billion back in May 2021, only a small number of EU countries have committed to rechannel a portion of their SDRs to low-income countries. EU Member States should commit to meeting their fair share of the $100 billion promise in 2021 and set out plans for recycling much more next year to support the global economic recovery when new mechanisms to do so are in place.