Money for CEPI welcomed by international development group

By Melissa Coade

March 11, 2022

Jane Halton
Jane Halton Former Australian health secretary Jane Halton is CEPI chair. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)

The Australian government has stepped up to help tackle the current and future pandemics with a pledge of $100 million over five years to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).

More than US$1.5 billion has been raised for CEPI, with contributions from Nigeria, Japan, the US, the UK and Australia. 

Marc Purcell, the CEO of Australian Council for International Development (ACFID), welcomed the Australian government’s contribution to boost the global capacity to save lives and prepare for future pandemics. He said he hoped the amount was on top of the government’s existing aid program.

“The $100 million will contribute towards powering the global effort to accelerate the end of the current COVID-19 pandemic, and will also help to facilitate more equitable access to life-saving vaccines, particularly in developing countries with remote populations,” Purcell said.

The CEPI program aims to accelerate the development of vaccines against emerging infections and was launched in 2017. It is a global partnership of public, private, philanthropic and civil society organisations dedicated to delivering equitable access to those vaccines.

Former Australian health secretary Jane Halton serves as chair of the group.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic advocates, including the coalition group ‘End COVID for all’, have warned that without additional funding to CEPI and a global commitment to vaccine equity, a perilous future for pandemic risk faced humanity. 

ACID were co-signatories to a letter from the ‘End COVID for all’ coalition that was sent to prime minister Scott Morrison highlighting how the emergence of the COVID Omricon variant was an example of what happened when vaccine equity was not addressed with adequate resources. A CEPI replenishment of an additional $100 million was one of the group’s requests of the Australian government. 

“The Australian government has made important contributions to date to help our Indo-Pacific neighbours access vaccines and support national vaccine roll-outs, along with initial investments to the international effort to help vaccinate low income nations through the COVAX AMC. But this crisis is far from over,” the letter read.

“Despite G20 commitments last October to vaccinate at least 40% of the world’s population in all countries by the end of 2021 and 70% by mid-2022, we are dangerously off-track.”


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