South Africa’s Solidarity Fund on Thursday said at a press briefing that they are preparing for the third COVID-19 vaccine rollout expected at the end of April or early May.
Nicola Galombik, the Fund’s head of disbursements and deployment, said the organization became involved in assisting the country in the vaccination drive late in 2020 when health authorities approached it, seeking assistance towards funding for Covax, an international COVID-19 vaccine campaign co-led by the World Health Organization and its partners.
“Our work on the vaccination program began when we were approached by the department of health to catalyse the country’s entry into Covax with the down payment of R283 million (about 18.85 million U.S. dollars). In addition, we are in discussions to fund additional technical capacity in the mass national rollout,” she said.
“We are preparing for the next phase rollout expected at the end of April or early May. The Solidarity Fund is set up to be an action-oriented, agile and responsive to changing circumstances. The Fund can act quickly to provide funding as and when it is needed and, as important, act as an enabler, helping to support our partners.”
The Solidarity Fund was launched on March 23 last year to receive donations towards dealing with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The government provided seed capital of R150 million towards the fund. It was then open for donations from business, civil society organizations and individuals.
Solidarity Fund CEO Tandi Nzimande said within one year the fund had received pledges of R3.22 billion.