G7 leaders commit $7.5 billion to vaccine rollout in poor countries
Leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) economic powers, who control a little under half of the world’s economy, on Friday agreed to “intensify cooperation” in response to the coronavirus pandemic and increase funding commitments for the rollout of vaccines in the world’s poorest countries to $7.5 billion.
Days after the UN voiced alarm over gaping inequities in the initial rollout of vaccines between rich and poor countries, G7 leaders holding a virtual meeting on Friday agreed to increase financial commitments to global vaccination efforts.
“Today, with increased financial commitments of over $4 billion to ACT-A and COVAX, collective G7 support totals $7.5 billion,” the elite club comprising Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the US said in a joint statement.
But many leaders, under pressure over their vaccination campaigns at home, were unwilling to say exactly how much vaccine they were willing to share with the developing world, or when.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said after the G-7 leaders held a virtual meeting that fair distribution of vaccines was “an elementary question of fairness”.
But she added, “No vaccination appointment in Germany is going to be endangered.”
French President Emmanuel Macron gave a firmer target, saying Europe and the US should allocate up to five percent of their current Covid-19 vaccine supplies to the poorest countries “very fast”.
After their first meeting of the year, held remotely due to the pandemic, G7 leaders said they would accelerate global vaccine development and deployment” and support “affordable and equitable access to vaccines” and treatments for Covid-19.
Macron called on Western nations to supply 13 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines to African governments “as soon as possible”…..read more