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Nov 13, 2020 / 08:42

Vietnam commits US$5 million to ASEAN Covid-19 medical supply reserves

The joint fund gets ready to support countries in case of public health emergencies or when needed.

Vietnam has pledged to contribute US$5 million in medical supplies to ASEAN’s joint efforts against Covid-19, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said at the 37th ASEAN Summit Thursday.

 Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said at the 37th ASEAN Summit on November 12. Photo: VNA

The contribution will be made to the ASEAN Regional Reserve of Medical Supplies that Vietnam proposed at the ASEAN Special Summit against Covid-19 in April 2020.

The ASEAN Regional Reserve of Medical Supplies is expected to enhance the bloc’s joint response capacity against public health emergencies through mobilizing and distributing fundamental medical equipment. Countries voluntarily donate and preserve equipment, only passing the resource to the country in need in the face of an epidemic or public health emergencies.

In addition, PM Phuc announced that Vietnam will also donate US$100,000 to the ASEAN Covid-19 Response Fund. The fund, announced at the 36th ASEAN Summit, has received pledges of up to US$10 million from ASEAN member states and its partners and stands ready to provide assistance to countries in combating the pandemic.

The ASEAN Covid-19 Response Fund aims to mobilize financial resources to deal with the shortage of medical equipment, labs research on drug and vaccine against the novel coronavirus, and emergency cases.

PM Phuc asked the 10-member bloc to have a comprehensive approach to the Covid-19 pandemic with the participation of “the whole community” in order to protect the people’s health and promote economic recovery.

ASEAN Covid-19 response

The governments of ASEAN member states have stood as one in action in the battle against the Covid-19 pandemic from very early on.

Since mid-February, Vietnam issued the Chairman’s Statement on ASEAN Collective Response to the Outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019.

In mid-April, shortly after the pandemic's outbreak, the bloc organized the Special ASEAN and ASEAN Plus Three Summits on Covid-19 during which leaders of ASEAN member states and its partners (China, South Korea and Japan) made strong commitment to act together in the spirit of cohesiveness and responsiveness.

At the 36th ASEAN Summit in June, ASEAN member states took decisive actions both at the national and regional levels. At this summit, Vietnam proposed the ASEAN Covid-19 Response Fund.

At this 37th ASEAN Summit, member states will establish the ASEAN Regional Reserve of Medical Supplies and adopt the ASEAN Strategic Framework for Public Health Emergencies.

The member states, with Japan’s assistance, have agreed to establish the ASEAN Center for Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases.

The moves show substantive cooperation in enhancing ASEAN’s joint capacity in response to medical emergencies and future epidemic threats.


For the joint efforts, the bloc will adopt many important declarations with its partners during this summit, including (i) Hanoi Declaration on the 15th Anniversary of the EAS, (ii) ASEAN Plus Three Leaders’ Statement on Strengthening ASEAN Plus Three Cooperation for Economic and Financial Resilience in face of Emerging Challenges, (iii) negotiations and signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), reaffirming their strong commitment to trade liberalization and connectivity between ASEAN and its partners.