The German government has committed a grant of US $34 million (EUR 30 million) to the East African Community (EAC) to support the regional organisation’s immunization efforts. The EAC Secretary General, Amb. Libérat Mfumukeko, and the Deputy Ambassador of Germany to the EAC, Jörg Herrera, jointly signed the agreement in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
With the additional grant, Germany will be financing the procurement of vaccines for children in the EAC against various diseases including measles, rotavirus, pneumococcus, Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and yellow fever. The programme will be financed through the German Development Bank (kfW) and implemented in collaboration with the Vaccine Alliance (Gavi). The cooperation aims at reducing child mortality in the region and mainly targets newborns.
This new commitment will bring Germany`s contribution to EAC’s regional immunization programmes to approximately US$170 million (EURO 150 million) since 2012. To date, German Development Cooperation with the EAC has financed over 60 million doses of life-saving vaccines for the region and the average immunization coverage in the region was substantially increased, making the EAC’s immunization programmes the strongest in Sub-Sahara Africa.
“Germany is a committed partner to the East African regional integration process. We are proud that our cooperation with the EAC and the Gavi Alliance is contributing greatly to improve child health in the region,” said Herrera.
Amb. Herrera further said that vaccinations were a highly effective and cost effective means to fight child mortality, adding that particularly focus needs to be put on children from poor families as they often lack sufficient access to quality health care.
Mr Herrera also commended the EAC for its comprehensive approach to address priority health issues in the EAC region such as the control and prevention of infectious diseases, and pandemics and mother and child health.
EAC and Germany celebrated their 20th anniversary of development cooperation last month after holding successful Government Negotiations at the EAC Headquarters. Health is one of the two focal areas of the two sides, the other being Regional Economic and Social Integration.
Germany development cooperation, through the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), has to date contributed to regional integration in East Africa through a variety of programmes and projects in these areas. With the new commitments signed today, Germany’s funding for Technical and Financial Cooperation with the EAC amounts to over US$350 million.