The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged funds to the tune of $50 million to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance against Covid in a bid to support COVID-19 vaccine purchase through the alliance’s COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC) as well as delivery of these vaccines to 92 lower-income countries, including Nigeria.

The Foundation’s announcement builds on $156 million in previous commitment to the COVAX AMC, and the sum of the COVID-19 response amounts to more than $1.8 billion. The CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Mark Suzman, revealed the pledge at Gavi’s COVAX AMC Summit, an event co-hosted by the government of Japan and Gavi that gathered world leaders, the private sector, civil society, and technical partners to build support to procure COVID-19 vaccines and equitably distribute them to lower-income countries.

“The world must urgently come together to expand equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, or we risk more deaths and the emergence of new variants that could prolong the pandemic for everyone.

“Thanks to today’s contributions, especially Japan’s generous pledge and its leadership in global health, we’ve taken an important step towards that goal. This summit is a powerful example of what can be achieved when we act collectively to control the pandemic and save lives” he said.

Urging global cooperation, the foundation called on high-income countries to share at least 1 billion excess COVID-19 vaccines with lower-income countries as soon as possible so lower-income countries can immunize hundreds of millions of health workers and at-risk people this year–saving lives. In turn, this will help to reduce the risk of new variants emerging and control the pandemic.