From Airports to Arms: AHBN urges donor partners to accelerate support for governments’ leadership and accountability to drive COVID-19 vaccination

Abuja, Nigeria; 25 January 2022:The Africa Health Budget Network (AHBN) has called on donors, including multilateral development banks (MDBs), across the world to support and speed up developing countries’ access to their funding. It has also urged donors to facilitate easier coordinating mechanisms and increase transparency of various sources of funding. 

AHBN is also advocating to developing countries to ensure governments at all levels improve political leadership and accountability to improve trust and COVID-19 vaccination uptake.

This followed a global report from the COVID Global Accountability Platform (COVID GAP), led by Duke University and COVID Collaborative; along with the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and Africa CDC on “New Insights and Urgent Recommendations to Accelerate Global COVID-19 Vaccinations.”

In addition, AHBN is calling on governments to establish cross-sector partnerships to augment government vaccination capabilities; make global support for vaccine rollout more responsive to country priorities, and investing in regional engagement to improve and accelerate vaccination implementation. This will help resolve the vaccination implementation bottlenecks such as cold chain and logistics, data systems, health workforce, vaccine demand and many others.

Considering that timely access to appropriate financing for vaccination has remained major constraint for many countries, AHBN advocates deliberate improvement in domestic resource mobilisation and budgetary allocations aimed at boosting vaccine uptake and implementation in all countries.

Furthermore, AHBN advocates for clearer country-led strategies for vaccination which will help to clarify the necessary capabilities, capacities, and resources, including financial and human capital, needed for successful implementation of COVID-19 vaccination campaigns in all countries.

There is also the need for the establishment and adaptation of country-specific vaccination strategies to prioritize the quick deployment of vaccines, linked to robust monitoring and feedback, and the leveraging of urgent investments in COVID-19 response to strengthen longer-term health system capabilities.

The call is premised on the fact that emerging variants of the COVID-19 virus such as Omicron are gradually advancing to all countries of the world, indicating that such global pandemic require a comprehensive vaccination implementation plan to tackle.

AHBN also encourages Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to show greater interest and support governments at all levels to ensure the smooth implementation of all in-country strategies, aimed at increasing vaccination acceptance and uptake.

While acknowledging the pivotal roles of donors and manufacturers, AHBN similarly calls for sustained collaborative efforts between the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT) and the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) in order to increase the transparency and predictability of planned vaccine deliveries, and coordinate directly with recipient country governments to support effective planning and implementation.

“Coming off the heels of ‘Airport-to-Arms’ global report, I call on all international development partners, including donors, to support African leaders and governments, not only with financial support, but to also enhance capacities related to public finance management, accountability and prudent spending of resources they are providing.

“I recommend that CSOs including youth organizations in Africa should be carried along in developing vaccination strategies and implementation, so that they can make their input at all stages and ensure sequitable access and recovery” says Dr. Aminu Magashi Garba, AHBN Coordinator.

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For more information, please contact:

Dr. Aminu Magashi Garba

Africa Health Budget Network (AHBN) Coordinator

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