TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Thursday that Japan will provide about $300 million to a global organization dedicated to increasing access to vaccinations in developing countries.
The financial support to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, will be extended for five years from 2021 to make contributions to global public health efforts, Abe said in a video message aired at the nongovernmental organization's online meeting hosted by the British government.
The Japanese government provided around $95 million to Gavi for the previous five-year period from 2016 to 2020. The upcoming donation of $300 million, including $100 million already pledged in April, is the largest amount Japan has provided to the nongovernmental body to date.
Abe also stressed the importance of fair access to vaccinations.
"By involving the world, (Japan) wants to lead the development and spread of new therapeutic medicines and vaccines," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, the government's top spokesman, said at a press conference in Tokyo.
Gavi provides vaccines, purchased using funds collected from donor countries, to developing countries at low cost. It also assists countries in purchasing medical supplies for immunization.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Thursday that the funding pledged by participating countries has reached around $8.8 billion, topping the target amount of $7.4 billion.
More than 50 countries took part in the online event to raise funds for the promotion of vaccinations for developing countries.