Africa-Press – Rwanda. A total of 280,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines donated by Slovakia arrived Friday afternoon at the Kigali International Airport. The consignment was delivered through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism (EUCPM).
“Slovakia has heard loud and clear the calls for vaccine justice. Covid pandemics can only be successfully overcome if we join forces together,” Slovak Ambassador Katarína Žuffa Leligdonová in Kenya commented on the development.
“That is why Slovakia has joined in the EU family in Kigali and provide 280 000 Astra Zenecca vaccines to help Rwandan government and people to tackle this pandemics,” Ambassador Leligdonova added.
The ambassador also commended Rwanda’s efforts in its vaccination drive that has so far seen over 2.137 million receiving their first dose while some 1.69 have been fully vaccinated.
This is roughly 21 percent of the government’s plan to vaccinate atleast 60 percent of the target population by June, next year. “The EU is proud to have assisted the arrival of the vaccines through the EUCPM,” said the head of delegation of the European Union to Rwanda, Ambassador Nicola Bellomo.
He pointed out that the EU stands in solidarity with Rwanda, both multilaterally by supporting the COVAX facility, and also bilaterally by mobilizing vaccines.
Bellomo highlighted that the agency has also been working with Rwanda to create the framework necessary to attract foreign investment into vaccines manufacturing in the country. The EU finances 75 percent of the transport costs of the assistance sent through the EUPCM.
Through this Mechanism, the EU helps coordinate and finance the delivery of vaccines, medical and protective equipment and other material which are donated by EU Member states across Europe and the world, to countries that seek assistance.
Slovakia remains a staunch supporter of international solidarity through multilateralism and the COVAX facility. Two weeks ago, Slovak President Ms. Zuzana Čaputová emphasised in her speech at the United Nations General Assembly that solidarity should be a binding principle, ‘not an option’.