The Ford Foundation has announced rapid response grants totaling $16 million to strengthen vaccine equity across the Global South.
The funding is focused on making structural changes to ensure equitable vaccine distribution for marginalized groups, including overcoming vaccine hesitancy and fighting discrimination; raising awareness about the inequities of global intellectual property policies that prevent widespread production of vaccines and other critical medicines; and rethinking how global public goods like vaccines are financed, with the goal of moving away from a charity model where wealthy nations control the vast majority of the world’s medicines supply.
Ford Foundation president Darren Walker, said: “The pandemic has uncovered deep structural inequities in our global systems, and people will continue to needlessly die of this virus until we make lasting, meaningful change. Inaction is not an option. We are proud to join other global funders to shine a light on the systems that are at the root of this crisis, and to make these critical investments in organizations working on the front lines of vaccine equity in the parts of the world that need it most.”
Recipients include the Africa CDC, Third World Network, Oxfam America, Frontline AIDS for People’s Vaccine Alliance, and Equal International.
In addition, the foundation committed to a global effort to advocate for equal and fair access to vaccines through the People’s Vaccine Alliance, a coordinated campaign to combat vaccine hesitancy and support vaccine access with the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project and the Entertainment Industry Foundation.
Peoples Vaccine Alliance chair Max Lawson, said: “Vaccine apartheid is killing thousands daily. Pharmaceutical monopolies and the failure to share successful vaccine recipes with manufacturers all over the world means billions are facing this killer disease unprotected. This is particularly the most vulnerable and marginalized communities among us. The world needs a People’s Vaccine, not a profit vaccine. We are proud that the Ford Foundation is joining us all in the fight against this appalling vaccine inequality.”