Hailing India’s scientific research and vaccine manufacturing ecosystem, NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman, Dr Suman K Berry said that India introduced an array of initiatives and focused interventions to mitigate the impact of the COVID pandemic and to protect lives and livelihoods.
Addressing the High-Level Political Forum, the Vice-Chairman underlined that India’s vaccine manufacturing ecosystem has resulted in the world’s most extensive free vaccination program with over 1.98 billion doses reaching all parts of the country including the remotest regions.
Under the vaccine ‘Maitri’ initiative, India has supplied over 235 million total supplies of COVID-19 vaccines to 98 countries of the world, he said at the Ministerial Roundtable, stressing that a recovery journey has been characterized by a focus on govt capital expenditure especially in building world-class infrastructure. Talking on the environment front, he said, “PM Modi has articulated the goals of India at COP-27, and we remain committed to this. The sustainable development goals framework is critical to the context as it enables us to chart a new course of development & we affirm our commitment.”
He also highlighted the Prime Minister’s Gati Shakthi Yojana, national master plan for multimodal connectivity during his speech at HLPF 2022. India’s experiences of utilizing digital technology to deliver social protection & financial inclusion could be of interest to others by leveraging such experiences costs & risks can be reduced for global community, he said in a concluding his statement.
In January 2021, India launched the Vaccine Maitri (Vaccine Friendship) initiative – a major diplomatic effort to gift and supply made-in-India vaccines to low-income and developing countries globally. Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives, Mauritius, Sri Lanka, Brazil, Morocco, South Africa, Afghanistan, Mexico, DR Congo, Nigeria, United Kingdom, and many other countries were among some of the beneficiaries of the Vaccine Maitri initiative.
India kicked off international shipments of the vaccines on January 20, 2021, only four days after starting its own vaccination program. Bhutan and Maldives were the first countries to receive vaccines as a grant from India.