Fighting COVID-19
Fighting COVID-19
Towards the universal access to COVID-19 vaccines and a global response to end the pandemic


The disparity between developing and developed countries in terms of distribution of COVID-19 vaccines prevented the world from achieving the complete elimination of the pandemic. Moreover, it further hampered progress in the realization of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The need for the adoption of the resolution “Ensuring equitable, affordable, timely and universal access for all countries to vaccines in response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” initiated by the Republic of Azerbaijan on behalf of Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) member states, was born out of the common recognition that a global emergency like the COVID-19 pandemic required a global response. Yet, the low availability of COVID-19 vaccines and medical supplies in low- and middle-income countries proved that there was still much to be done in this respect.

Towards a Solution

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Azerbaijan, chairing the Non-Aligned Movement and the Organization of Turkic-Speaking States, was among the first countries actively engaged in mobilizing efforts of the wider international community, in the spirit of multilateralism, cooperation and solidarity, to address the pandemic and its negative consequences through a number of successful undertakings. These were:

  • setting an international agenda to fight COVID-19 in developing and least developed countries, especially in NAM and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member-states;
  • providing financial support to international organizations; and
  • delivering medical items, equipment and financial support to foreign governments bilaterally.

At the initiative of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan H.E. Mr. Ilham Aliyev, several important events took place, including the Summit of the Turkic Council in April 2020, the Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in May 2020 and the Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly at the level of the heads of state and government in December 2020. The overlapping purpose of the events was to bring to global attention the undesirable effects of COVID-19, identify common positions and strategies to respond to the pandemic both collectively and individually, and mobilize global efforts.

Meetings took place amid the persisting challenges related to uneven access to quality, safe, effective and affordable COVID-19 vaccines around the world. Azerbaijan highlighted the fundamental role of the United Nations system in coordinating the global response to control and contain the spread of COVID-19 and in providing support to states and the crucial leading role played by the World Health Organization. These important initiatives contributed to the adoption by the United Nations Human Rights Council and the General Assembly in March and December 2021, respectively, the resolution titled“Ensuring equitable, affordable, timely and universal access for all countries to vaccines in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

As a sign of solidarity, provided financial and humanitarian assistance to about 80 countries both directly and through international organizations to support their fight against the coronavirus in different areas, including health, education, social well-being, food and security.

The Government of Azerbaijan allocated US$ 10 million to the World Health Organization, US$ 1 million to ISESCO, US$ 1 million to UNESCO and US$ 300,000 to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) to support global efforts in fighting the spread of the pandemic, especially in developing and least developed countries. So far, nearly 60 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and other regions have been provided with medical items and equipment through WHO to enable national health institutions to deliver public health services to their citizens.

Azerbaijan recognized the vital importance to maintain the continued functioning of health systems and strengthening primary health care in all aspects necessary for an effective public health response to the pandemic. Measures in this regard included ensuring the continuation of undisrupted vaccination programmes with a view to achieving universal health coverage.

During his speech at the high-level thematic debate on “Universal vaccination in combatting COVID-19” organized by the President of the United Nations General Assembly on 25 February 2022, President Aliyev announced that Azerbaijan will donate one million additional doses of vaccines to 14 NAM member states. Mr. Aliyev noted that the Non-Aligned Movement stands ready to continue its active engagement in advancing international solidarity, which would allow the soonest possible elimination of the pandemic and an effective recovery process. In this regard, NAM would come up with new results-oriented initiatives on addressing post-COVID-19 recovery needs.

Concerning bilateral aid, Azerbaijan through its national donor insti- tution, the Azerbaijan International Development Agency (AIDA), provided financial, humanitarian and medical aid to over 20 countries, some of which received Azerbaijan’s aid several times consecutively. Furthermore, the government donated vaccines to five more countries. In total, both bilaterally and multilaterally Azerbaijan spent over US$ 30 million to support global efforts in fighting the spread of COVID-19 and its consequences around the world. Foreign governments and international organizations continue requesting the government for additional financial, medical and humanitarian aid. It is expected that the volume of aid and beneficiaries will grow further. Azerbaijan’s international support for combatting COVID-19 has been recognized at a number of international events and within reports of international organizations. Such a practice, which included a three-fold approach to fighting COVID-19, namely setting an international agenda and providing aid both bilaterally and multilaterally, was innovative within the framework of the Non-Aligned Movement in the sense that it encompassed a comprehensive approach that had visible and tangible targets and promoted results-oriented actions in combatting the coronavirus.

Contact Information

Etibar Karimov, Programme Director, AIDA, Ministry of foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan

Countries involved

Azerbaijan, Regional

Supported by

Government of Azerbaijan

Implementing Entities

Azerbaijan International Development Agency (AIDA), World Health Organization (WHO)

Project Status


Project Period


URL of the practice

Primary SDG

03 - Good Health and Well-being

Primary SDG Targets

3.3, 3.b, 3.c

Secondary SDGs

17 - Partnerships for the Goals

Secondary SDG Targets

17.6, 17.14, 17.16

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