ARUSHA, Tanzania – The Federal Republic of Germany today signed an intergovernmental agreement with the East African Community (EAC) to support regional health programs. In total, 30 million euros (34 million USD) will be invested in vaccines and health supply chain management.
German development cooperation will provide 20 million euros for the procurement of vaccines against different diseases for children in the EAC. The program will be implemented in collaboration with GAVI.
This new commitment will bring Germany`s contribution to regional immunisation programs with the EAC to 60 million euros since 2012. Earlier in 2015, Germany hosted the record replenishment of the global vaccination alliance GAVI. As a result, an additional 300 million children will receive live-saving vaccines, including in the EAC.
Inappropriate cooling systems result in high volumes of vaccines being wasted before they reach the people that need them. This is why Germany also makes available 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. Dr. Richard Sezibera, 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.”
HE Egon Kochanke, Ambassador at the German Embassy in Tanzania, said: “The new commitments underline that Germany continues to be a strong partner for the EAC, contributing to an integration process that puts the people in the center.”
GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance is a public-private global health partnership committed to increasing access to immunization in poor countries. Gavi brings together developing country and donor governments, the World Health Organization, 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 as early as 1998, Germany’s development cooperation, on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), contributes to the capacity development of the Secretariat of the EAC and the regional integration in East Africa through a variety of programmes and projects. Germany’s funding for Technical and Financial Cooperation with the EAC amounts to a total of 176 million Euros. Germany also provides substantial support for the health sectors in EAC member states.
Accompanying Amb. Kochanke were Ms. Lena Thiede, Counsellor/Head of Regional Cooperation at the German Embassy in Dar es Salaam; Katrin Brandes of KFW, and; Bernd Multhaup, Program Manager, GIZ.
Others at the function were EAC Deputy Secretary General (Planning and Infrastructure) Dr. Enos Bukuku; Lake Victoria Basin Commission Deputy Executive Secretary Patrice Niyongabo; Counsel to the Community, Dr. Albert Kafumbe, and; the GAVI Special Adviser to the EAC Secretary General, Mr. Stephen Karengera.