S'pore supports global fight against Covid-19 & pledges to donate vaccines: Vivian Balakrishnan

He was speaking at the Commonwealth Foreign Affairs Ministers' Meeting on Sep. 16.

Jean Chien Tay | September 17, 2021, 01:41 PM

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Singapore supports vaccine multilateralism and has pledged to donate its allocation of vaccines under the COVAX Facility to other countries, Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said at the virtual Commonwealth Foreign Affairs Ministers' Meeting (CFAMM) on Thursday, Sep. 16.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) added in a press release on Sep. 16 that such support for the international community's fight against Covid-19 is "consistent".

Singapore supports global fight against Covid-19

In a Facebook post, the minister added that the city-state will continue to "work closely" with Commonwealth countries in delivering capacity-building programmers to strengthen their collective ability against global challenges such as Covid-19 and climate change.


In the meeting, Vivian also stressed the importance of "advancing global conversation on digital transformation", in order to generate inclusive and sustainable opportunities for all.

The meeting was chaired by the UK's Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, Elizabeth Truss, whom Vivian said is "no stranger to Singapore".

She had visited Singapore last December to sign the UK-Singapore FTA, an agreement that's first of its kind between the UK and an Asean member state.

Vaccine contribution to Malaysia; vaccine sharing agreement with Australia

The Singapore government has recently pledged to contribute 100,640 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine to Malaysia.

Meanwhile, MFA announced a vaccine sharing arrangement with Australia on Aug. 31.

According to MFA's statement, Singapore will be providing 500,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine to Australia, while Australia will return the same amount of doses to Singapore at a later date.

With Singapore's vaccines, Australia can accelerate their vaccination program, amid daily average cases peaking at 1,746, Reuters reported.

Australia's vaccination rate currently sits at 35.5 per cent, according to data from "Our World in Data".

Singapore's vaccine contribution to other countries will not impact plans of giving booster shots to vaccinated individuals in the country, Finance Minister Lawrence Wong, who also co-chairs the Multi-Ministry Task Force (MTF), said in response to Mothership's queries.

Wong added that the vaccine doses swapped with other countries will be returned subsequently, and Singapore will have enough vaccines when the demand for boosters go up in the following months.

Singapore's contributions regionally

Previously, Singapore has sent oxygen cylinders to India on Apr. 28 to support India's fight against Covid-19.

The government also announced plans to donate to S$27 million to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to help vulnerable, low-income countries that are dealing with the fallout of Covid-19.

In April 2020, Singapore contributed medical supplies to Indonesia to support Indonesia's efforts in combating Covid-19.

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Top image via Vivian Balakrishnan/Facebook