WHO director-general to G20 leaders: $4.5 billion still needed for COVID-19 vaccines

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The World Health Organization (WHO) director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Saturday told G20 leaders that $4.5 billion was still needed for COVID-19 vaccines.

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“In April, with support from France, Germany, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the European Union, WHO established the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator – to develop vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics fast, and allocate them fairly, as global public goods.

“Earlier this week you received a letter signed by President Ramaphosa, President von der Leyen, Prime Minister Solberg and myself, outlining the need for an immediate investment of US$4.5 billion for vaccines,” Dr. Tedros said in remarks at the G20 summit organized by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

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Tedros said three areas of focus were needed to end the coronavirus pandemic – developing and distributing vaccines, preparing for next pandemics and ensuring a good leadership.

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“To prevent future outbreaks and their impact on lives, livelihoods and economies, all countries must invest in preparedness and universal health coverage. As you asked us in March, WHO has completed an assessment of gaps in pandemic preparedness. It offers concrete recommendations for G20 countries, which we urge you to implement,” he said.

Tedros added: “Representing two-thirds of the world’s population and 80% of the global economy, the G20 has a unique leadership role to play in fostering the solidarity that is needed to end the pandemic.”

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Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba covers the White House, the U.S. government, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions for Today News Africa in Washington D.C. Simon can be reached on simonateba@todaynewsafrica.com

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