EU promises more Covid vaccines for Southeast Asia

By Ngoc Anh   August 6, 2021 | 09:01 pm PT
EU promises more Covid vaccines for Southeast Asia
Foreign Ministers of ASEAN and EU countries at an online meeting on August 6, 2021. Photo by The World and Vietnam Report newspaper.
The European Union said it has supplied 33 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines to Southeast Asia and plans to provide more.

Speaking at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations– European Union Foreign Ministerial Meeting, the EU representative said the bloc has contributed more than three billion euros ($3.5 billion) through the Covax mechanism to support low- and-middle- income countries, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement Friday.

ASEAN countries hailed the EU's implementation of the Team Europe program at a cost of 800 million euros ($940 million) to help ASEAN to fight the pandemic and the 20-million-euro "Southeast Asia Health Pandemic Response and Preparedness" program to enhance regional coordination for Covid response and strengthen the capacity of health systems in Southeast Asia, while paying special attention to vulnerable populations.

ASEAN sought continued EU assistance for its Covid prevention initiatives and coordinate to ensure access, supply and research and development of safe, uniform, and effective vaccines.

Vietnam's Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son called on the EU to enable ASEAN to get timely and adequate access to vaccines, consider transferring vaccine production technology and enhance vaccine self-reliance in the region.

Vivian Balakrishnan, Foreign Minister of Singapore, the Country Coordinator for ASEAN-EU Dialogue Relations, said the EU has always been an important partner for ASEAN and welcomed the strengthening of ties between the two sides during the past time.

The EU is the second largest investor in ASEAN with $7.6 billion while trade between them was worth $258 billion last year.

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