The African Union’s African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT) initiative
UNICEF’s work to supply COVID-19 vaccines to African Union Member States.
To ensure widespread access to COVID-19 vaccines across Africa, the African Union launched the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT). The trust aims to secure vaccine doses to complement initiatives such as COVAX and attain a target immunization of 60 per cent of Africa’s population.
Partners in the initiative include the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) and the World Bank.
UNICEF’s role within AVAT
UNICEF will procure and deliver COVID-19 vaccines on behalf of AVAT to AU Member States, with the additional opportunity to provide supplemental logistics and related services for countries that request it. The initiative complements the COVAX Facility’s aim of ensuring rapid and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines worldwide.
In July 2021, UNICEF signed the first operational framework agreement to supply COVID-19 vaccine doses for all 55 Member States of the AU in 2021. Multiple vaccines are anticipated to become part of the portfolio.
As the largest single vaccine buyer in the world, UNICEF procures and delivers more than 2 billion doses of vaccines annually for routine immunisation and outbreak response on behalf of more than 100 countries.
UNICEF is also the main procurement partner of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and has helped reach more than 760 million children with life-saving vaccines over the last 20 years, preventing more than 13 million deaths.