Baca berita tanpa iklan. Gabung

Coronavirus: Why EU lags behind China and Russia in ASEAN vaccine diplomacy

March 24, 2021, 10.15 PM - The European Union has long prided itself on being the largest provider of development assistance to Southeast Asia. The same goes for its support amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The EU has so far provided over €800 million ($950 million) in grants and aid to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) regional alliance and its 10 member states for their health campaigns during the pandemic, which is "more than that offered by any other partner of ASEAN," says Igor Driesmans, the EU's ambassador to the bloc.

On top of this, EU states — branding their international pandemic assistance "Team Europe" — have contributed around €2.2 billion to COVAX, a multilateral effort to ensure equitable distribution of vaccines to the world's developing countries.

The initiative is spearheaded by the UN's World Health Organization (WHO). Only the US has provided more money to COVAX than the EU.

EU to launch scheme to boost pandemic preparedness

In 2021, more than 32 million doses procured through COVAX are expected to reach Southeast Asian states, with around 7 million expected by the end of March and another 15 million by the start of July.

So far, COVAX-donated vaccines have been delivered to Cambodia, Indonesia and the Philippines.

Speaking to DW this week, Driesmans announced that the EU will soon launch a €20 million "South-East Asia Pandemic Response and Preparedness" program, to be implemented via the WHO.

"[It] will enhance regional coordination of the COVID-19 response and strengthen the capacity of health systems in Southeast Asia," he said.

Also read: AstraZeneca Denies Using Swine Trypsin in Its Covid-19 Vaccine

Referring to the EU's support for the region, the ambassador underlined that "the numbers speak for themselves."

Or do they? Data from the latest State of Southeast Asia Report, released last month by Singapore's ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, provided a mixed message.

A tenth of respondents in the region thought the EU had provided the most help amid the pandemic, beating the US but a good way behind China and Japan.

Nevertheless, Japan has thus far only contributed $200 million to COVAX, a tenth of what Team Europe has donated, according to the COVAX donor database. Japan's development assistance for the pandemic has also been less than the EU's.

Beijing has donated millions of vaccines to Southeast Asian nations since JanuaryTan Kaixing Beijing has donated millions of vaccines to Southeast Asian nations since January

Two different COVID vaccine campaigns


Comment wisely and responsibly. Comments are entirely the responsibility of the commentator as regulated in the ITE Law
Thank You! We have received your report. We will remove comments that conflict with the Community Guidelines and the ITE Law.

More Headlines

April 14, 2023, 12.38 PM

Indonesia Detects New Covid Arcturus Variant

Baca berita tanpa iklan. Gabung
Baca berita tanpa iklan. Gabung


Baca berita tanpa iklan. Gabung
Baca berita tanpa iklan. Gabung
Close Ads