The aircraft carrying 280,000 doses of Astra Zeneca vaccine landed at the Kigali International Airport in the morning of Friday 8th October 2021.
Upon arrival, the shipment was received by officials from the Slovak Embassy, the European Union (EU) delegation, Rwanda’s Ministry of health and Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The delivery of the vaccines has been coordinated through the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism (EUCPM), which Rwanda applied to in order to access the vaccines.
Responding to calls for vaccine justice and solidarity, Slovakia joins the EU in Kigali to donate the vaccines and commends Rwanda’s efforts in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
Commenting on the donation; Slovak Ambassador to Kenya, Katarína Žuffa Leligdonová explained that ’Slovakia has heard loud and clear the calls for vaccine justice’.
"COVID-19 pandemic can only be successfully overcome if we join hands together. That is why Slovakia has joined the EU family in Kigali to provide 280,000 Astra Zenecca vaccine doses to help Rwandan government and people to control this pandemic,” she said.
The Head of Delegation of the European Union to Rwanda, Ambassador Nicola Bellomo also said that the EU is proud to have assisted the arrival of the vaccines through the EUCPM.
"The EU stands in solidarity with Rwanda, both multilaterally by supporting the COVAX facility, but also bilaterally by mobilising vaccines donated by our Member States through the EUCPM, and by working with Rwanda to create the framework necessary to attract foreign investment into vaccines manufacturing in the country,” he said.
The EU finances 75% 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 has reiterated commitment to remain a staunch supporter of international solidarity through multilateralism and the COVAX facility to ensure equitable distribution of vaccines.
Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly two weeks ago, Slovak President Ms. Zuzana Čaputová said that solidarity should be a binding principle, not an option.