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Rep. Bass Statement on Global Financial Institutions Partnering with South African Manufacturer

July 1, 2021
Press Release
WASHINGTON - Today, Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA), Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, issued the following statement:

“I am extremely excited that the Development Finance Corporation (DFC) and other global financiers are partnering with South African manufacturer, Aspen Pharmacare, to combat COVID-19 by helping them produce 500 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in Africa for Africans by the end of 2022, including providing more than 200 million doses this year. This will save lives, build local capacity, strengthen supply-chain infrastructure, and help create a self-reliance for developing nations.

"This partnership addresses the current need to distribute vaccines across the continent equitably, and it will help prepare for future pandemic outbreaks. Dr. Nkengasong of the CDC and countless other African leaders and have repeatedly told me that the international community needs to expand Africa’s vaccine supply chain to respond to COVID-19 and promote longer-term health sector resilience.

"This $700 million long-term global financing package to support critical vaccine production efforts on the African continent is aligned with the Administration’s strategy to bring an end to the global pandemic. I support the DFC and the other global financiers in showing the world that an African pharmaceutical company can help combat COVID-19, illustrating that the continent has the capacity to address pandemics if given sufficient support.”