The German government has signed an intergovernmental agreement with the East African Community (EAC) that will see 30 million euros (about Rwf 23.6 billion) invested in vaccines and health supply chain management to support health programmes in the bloc.
German Development Cooperation will provide 20 million euros for the procurement of vaccines against different diseases for children in the EAC.
The programme will be implemented in collaboration with GAVI.
“This new commitment will bring Germany’s contribution to regional immunisation programmes with the EAC to 60 million euros since 2012,” reads part of an EAC statement.
Earlier in 2015, Germany hosted the record replenishment of the global vaccination alliance GAVI. As a result, an additional 300 million children will receive life-saving vaccines, including in the EAC.
Inappropriate cooling systems result in high volumes of vaccines being wasted before they reach the target group. As such, why Germany will provide a grant of 10 million euros to support the establishment of the EAC Regional Centre of Excellence for Health Supply Chain Management.
The Centre, which will be hosted in Kigali, will strengthen capacities and support the management of complex supply systems for health products, such as vaccines that need to be kept cool at all times.
Amb. Richard Sezibera, the Secretary-General of the EAC, and Member of the GAVI Board said: “We are very happy with new and existing projects that are being financed by the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany. This assistance for the health sector in the EAC reaffirms Germany’s status as a true friend of the people of East Africa.”
Amb.Egon Kochanke, the German envoy to Tanzania, said: “The new commitments demonstrates that Germany continues to be a strong partner for the EAC, contributing to an integration process that puts the people at the centre.”
GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance is a public-private global health partnership committed to increasing access to immunisation in poor countries. GAVI brings together developing country and donor governments, the World Health OrganiSation, UNICEF, the World Bank, the vaccine industry in both industrialised and developing countries, research and technical agencies, civil society, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other private philanthropists.
Since 1998, Germany’s Development Cooperation contributes to the capacity development of the Secretariat of the EAC and the regional integration in East Africa through a variety of programmes.
Germany’s funding for Technical and Financial Cooperation with the EAC amounts to a total of 176 million Euros.
Germany also provides substantial support to the health sectors of the five EAC member states.