The Israeli government said Wednesday it was donating 1 million coronavirus vaccines to the UN-backed COVAX program, which distributes shots to poorer countries.
The Foreign Ministry said the AstraZeneca vaccines would be transferred to several countries in Africa in the coming weeks, a decision that was part of Israel’s strengthening ties with the continent.
“I am delighted that Israel can contribute and be a partner in eradicating the pandemic around the world,” said Foreign Minister Yair Lapid.
The announcement said the vaccines would reach close to a quarter of African countries, though it did not provide a list. Israel has close ties with a number of African nations, including Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda. Israel also re-established relations with Morocco and agreed to normalize ties with Sudan last year as part of a series of US-brokered accords.
Israel’s agreement with COVAX allows it to determine where the vaccines end up.