Covid-19 Vaccine : G7 Members Pledges Extra Funding
This follows a call by the UN Secretary General for an equitable distribution of the vaccine.
The G7 club of rich countries have pledged nearly $7billion in extra funding to speed up the distribution of Covid vaccines to the World’s poor countries. The pledged came after the UN Secretary General, António Guterres said the current effort to distribute doses equitably is chaotic and that a global emergency plan to fight the virus was needed. The UN Secretary General, however, told the Munich Security Conference that 75% of vaccines had been monopolized by 10 countries, while more than 100 countries had not received a single dose. The UN scribe suggested that the wider G20 group of countries should set up an emergency team that could create a global vaccination plan.
The two-hour virtual G7 summit that took place on Friday February 19, 2021 hosted by Boris Johnson led campaigners to demand more detail of the timing and substance of pledges. The G7 countries are thought to have bought about 1.5 billion vaccines more than their populations will need, but any estimate is subject to many variables.
Johnson said before the summit that the UK would give the majority of its surplus to the UN-led Covax system for distributing vaccines to the World’s poorest countries. The French President, Emmanuel Macron, said he had told the G7 that the west should target 6.5 million health workers in Africa requiring 13 million doses. He added that, if the west does not act quickly, African countries will be forced to turn to Russia, China and the pharmaceutical companies.
President Joe Biden’s administration pledged a conditional $4 billion to Covax, and the EU doubled its contribution to $1.6 billion. The EU also promised $140 million “in-kind” help to Africa for the vaccination process. Germany separately provided a further $1.8 billion, increasing an earlier contribution of $800 million. Britain has already contributed $766 million to Covax. The G7 said in a joint communique that they had collectively provided $7.5 billion to the scheme.