UN needs ‘immediate infusion’ of $15 bn for global vaccine fund

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called Wednesday for an “immediate infusion” of $15 billion to a global pool for the procurement and distribution of Covid-19 vaccines at a virtual summit hosted by the world body.

The ACT-Accelerator, led by the World Health Organization, has received around $3 billion of the $38 billion needed to meet the goal of producing and delivering two billion vaccine doses, 245 million treatments and 500 million diagnostic tests over the next year.

Notable new pledges included an additional 100 million euros ($117 million) by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, beyond the 675 million euros Germany has already committed.

Britain’s foreign minister Dominic Raab said his country, which has committed 250 million pounds ($320 million), would spend another pound for every four dollars committed by others, up to an additional 250 million pounds.

Sweden’s Prime Minister Stefan Lofven pledged $10 million while Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau touted a Can$440 million ($332 million) commitment made last week, half of which will go to low or middle-income countries.

The World Bank’s president David Malpass said he had proposed “up to $12 billion of fast-track financing” to countries for the purchase and deployment of Covid-19 vaccine, also previously announced. (AFP)

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