Home Asia QUAD diplomacy: India delivers Covishield vaccines to Cambodia

QUAD diplomacy: India delivers Covishield vaccines to Cambodia

As committed by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India handed over 3.25 lakhs of Covishield vaccines to Cambodia on 12 April. 

This commitment by the Indian leader was made during the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue’s partnership. Prime Minister Modi had committed to deliver 5 lakhs doses of India-made Covishield.

The made-in-India vaccines were delivered to the Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen. Indian Ambassador to Cambodia Devyani Khobragade was joined by representatives of other QUAD members (Australia, Japan, and the US) during the handing over ceremony. The consignment delivery ceremony took place at Peace Palace in Phnom Penh.

The QUAD vaccine partnership was launched in March 2021, when leaders of the US, Australia, Japan, and India met virtually and agreed to provide more than 1.2 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines across countries by end of 2022. 

Indian company Biological E has been manufacturing vaccines developed in the US and these are funded by the US and Japan. 

In addition to 3.25 lakhs doses, about a billion more doses would be supplied by the end of the year.

The Cambodian Prime Minister appreciated India’s contribution through vaccines and through humanitarian aid. The help aided in the socio-economic recovery of Cambodia. India has been supporting Phnom Penh through bilateral and multilateral platforms. 

“Whilst the spread of Covid-19 has subsided…I would like to encourage the further strengthening of friendship, promotion of cooperation, and strengthening of relations between Cambodia and the members of the Quad initiative, especially between Cambodia [and] India in terms of trade, investment, information technology, relaxation of travel requirements and connection through direct flights, and development of tourism,” the Prime Minister said.

The Quad vaccine partnership aims to bring the capabilities of members and funding together to ensure the availability of vaccines to countries in the Indo-Pacific. 

Quad members have provided Cambodia with about five million doses of Covid-19 vaccines, either bilaterally or through multilateral frameworks. The countries have also provided logistical support to ensure that vaccination is completed with the available doses.

In a major display of QUAD cooperation, Australia and Japan shared cold storage equipment, freezers, temperature monitors, and equipment for the safety of healthcare workers. In combating the disease, the US assisted with surveillance and contact tracing, case investigation, training healthcare workers, and data management.

The Cambodian government has appreciated all the supplies and logistical support from QUAD members, including India.