BRUSSELS, Nov. 12 (Xinhua) -- The European Union (EU) announced Thursday to grant 100 million euros (118 million U.S. dollars) to COVAX, a United Nations-backed global facility to ensure effective and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.
Addressing the virtual Paris Peace Forum, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said a global recovery will only be possible if safe and effective vaccines are available to all who need it.
The grant support to Gavi, the main partner of COVAX, will complement the 400 million euros of bank guarantees the EU has earlier made to the vaccine alliance through the European Investment Bank.
In addition to the 500-million-euro contribution made by the bloc, some EU member states have announced contributions as well.
To date, a total of 184 countries and economies have joined COVAX, according to the World Health Organization. China joined the collective program last month.
As the world is struggling to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, countries including Germany, France, China, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States are racing to find a vaccine.
According to the website of the World Health Organization, as of Nov. 3, there were 202 COVID-19 candidate vaccines being developed worldwide, and 47 of them were in clinical trials. (1 euro = 1.18 U.S. dollars)