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COVID-19: Mastercard Foundation donates $1.3bn to support Africa’s vaccine rollout

A donation of $1.3 billion to support COVID vaccine distribution in Africa has been announced by the Mastercard Foundation.

According to the foundation, it will deploy the funds in partnership with the Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC).

The donation was announced by Reeta Roy, president and chief executive officer of the Mastercard Foundation at the launch of Saving Lives and Livelihoods Initiative on Tuesday.

Roy said the donation would be deployed over the next three years to save the lives and livelihoods of millions of people in Africa and hasten the continent’s economic recovery.

She said the Saving Lives and Livelihoods initiative would acquire vaccines for at least 50 million people, support the delivery of vaccinations to millions more across the continent, and lay the groundwork for vaccine manufacturing in Africa through a focus on human capital development strengthen the Africa CDC.

“Ensuring equitable access and delivery of vaccines across Africa is urgent. This initiative is about valuing all lives and accelerating the economic recovery of the continent,” Roy said.

“In the process, this initiative will catalyze work opportunities in the health sector and beyond as part of our Young Africa Works strategy.”

In his remark, John Nkengasong, director of the Africa CDC, said building Africa’s capacity to develop COVID-19 vaccine is a sustainable path to secure good health for Africans.

Nkengasong called on governments, global funders, and stakeholders in the private sector to support access to COVID-19 vaccine in the continent.

“Ensuring inclusivity in vaccine access, and building Africa’s capacity to manufacture its own vaccines, is not just good for the continent, its the only sustainable path out of the pandemic and into a health-secure future,” he said.

“This partnership with the Mastercard Foundation is a bold step towards establishing a New Public Health Order for Africa, and we welcome other actors to join this historic journey.”

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