"We will do our part: #TeamEurope aims at donating at least 100 million doses to low and middle income countries by the end of 2021." The tweet came just as EU countries issued their own pledges totaling 110 million, with 50 million from Italy, 30 million from France and 30 million from Germany. The most recent draft of the Council conclusions, seen by POLITICO, puts the 100 million target in brackets, so it's likely countries will agree to donate more next week. "Remember, the doses belong to the member states — not the Commission," the diplomat said. Another EU diplomat quipped that countries were "curious where in the Berlaymont the Commission stores its 100 million doses."
Related:FOREIGN POLICY - How Corruption Derails Development in Malawi
How Corruption Derails Development in MalawiWhen the Malawi Electoral Commission announced on May 27, 2019 that incumbent Malawian President Peter Mutharika had won the country’s presidential election, thousands of people took to the streets. Malawi has been losing billions of dollars in public funds to private individuals who, in the end, invest it into their private enterprises. It’s not happening; the corruption watchdog Transparency International ranked Malawi 129th out of 180 countries in public sector corruption in 2020, scoring 30 out of 100 points on the global Corruption Perceptions Index. Corruption and theft of public funds is endemic in Malawi. This news came amid revelations that some controlling officers in the country’s COVID-19 response misused $7.9 million in COVID-19 funds.POLITICO - Negotiators clinch deal on coronavirus certificates
A certificate will be valid with a vaccination, a PCR test taken within 72 hours or an antigen test taken within 24 hours, or with a test proving the presence of antibodies taken within six months. Lawmakers and EU countries took very different approaches to the pass. Both proposals were refused by EU countries. The deal doesn’t promise free testing either, but the Commission committed to using €100 million from the Emergency Support Instrument for procuring tests. Thursday's meeting was the fourth round of talks on the certificates; previous rounds deadlocked on Parliament's demands.WIRED - Vaccine Deals for Countries in Need, a Surge in Japan, and More Coronavirus News
Drugmakers strike new vaccine deals, the EU expands travel policies, and Japan fights a new surge. HeadlinesDrugmakers agree to provide vaccine doses to countries in needPfizer and BioNTech pledged earlier today to give 1 billion doses of their Covid vaccine to low- and middle-income countries by the end of this year, and another billion over the course of 2022. This week, President Biden also announced that the US will donate more of its vaccine surplus. Stateside, government officials have reportedly been weighing the possibility of changing the US’s travel policies surrounding Covid. In response, Hong Kong and Singapore have changed their travel policies, Malaysia has imposed a new lockdown, and many people across the region have retreated to their homes.