WHO urges rich countries to pay 14 billion euros for the fight against Covid

The World Health Organization (WHO) urged wealthy countries on Wednesday to provide an emergency 14 billion euros ($16 billion) that is still missing to fund its plan to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Science has given us the tools” to fight the pandemic, “if shared globally in solidarity, we can end Covid-19 as a global health emergency this year”said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

“If high-income countries pay their fair share” funding from the ACT-A scheme, this program “can help low- and middle-income countries overcome low Covid-19 vaccination rates, poor testing and drug shortages”he said in a statement.

The meteoric spread of the Omicron variant makes the equitable distribution of tests, treatments and vaccines all the more urgent, he insisted.

The ACT-A accelerator, the English acronym for Access to tools against Covid, is a device created by major international health agencies but also the World Bank or the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation.

Led by the WHO, it is responsible for speeding up access to tools to fight Covid-19 in disadvantaged countries.

One of its components is the Covax system, set up at the start of the pandemic and before the arrival of effective vaccines, to try to guarantee equitable access for the whole world to vaccines. He delivered his billionth dose of vaccine in mid-January.

Operating ACT-A required some 20 billion euros ($23.4 billion) over the period October 2021 – September 2022, but only 700 million euros ($800 million) have been raised so far. here.

The program therefore demands 14 billion euros (16 billion dollars) from rich countries “to fill the immediate funding gap”with the rest to be self-financed by middle-income countries.

Six countries – the CanadaL’Germanythe Kuwaitthe NorwayL’Saudi Arabia and the Sweden – have reached or exceeded a fair level of funding.

Only 0.4% of the 4.7 billion Covid-19 screening tests carried out worldwide have been used in disadvantaged countries where, moreover, 10% of the population has received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Unequal access to Covid vaccines, tests and treatments only prolongs the pandemic, the South African president has stressed Cyril Ramaphosa who co-chairs the ACT-A Facilitation Council.

“I appeal to other leaders to increase solidarity, do their part and help save our lives in the face of the virus”did he declare.

Mr. Ramaphosa and the Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Storethe other co-chair, have written to 55 high- and middle-income countries, particularly in the upper bracket, encouraging them to pay their contributions.

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