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Procurement

EC approves 70 mln euro aid package to Western Balkans for Covid-19 vaccine procurement

SOFIA (Bulgaria), December 29 (SeeNews) – The European Commission (EC) said it has approved an aid package in the amount of 70 million euro ($85.7 million) that will enable the Western Balkans countries to get early access to Covid-19 vaccines procured by EU member states.

The funding will be provided in the form of grants under the Instrument for Pre-Accession (IPA II), the EC said in a statement on Monday.

The financial support will help the Western Balkans buy vaccines from the EU’s contracts with six vaccine manufacturers, with individual EU member states sharing a part of their pre-allocated doses, the Commission noted.

“Throughout the pandemic, the EU has shown that we treat the Western Balkans as privileged partners. We continue to act in this spirit also in the case of vaccines, by taking steps to enable a quick start of vaccination campaigns to critical staff and most vulnerable groups in the region early on. Swift vaccination will be decisive in ending the pandemic and launching the socio-economic recovery of the Western Balkans,” European commissioner for neighbourhood and enlargement, Oliver Varhelyi said.

($ = 0.8166 euro)

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