G20 Leaders Vow Support for Poor Countries Versus Coronavirus
Leaders of the Group of Twenty (G20) have promised to support poorer countries in the fight against the coronavirus disease through donating doses of vaccines.
During a virtual G20 summit organized by Saudi Arabia over the weekend where high on the agenda were the purchase and global distribution of the vaccines, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that she would sit down with vaccine alliance GAVI, to ensure that poorer countries could secure access to the vaccine.
“We will now speak with GAVI about when these negotiations will begin because I am somewhat worried that nothing has been done on that yet,” she was quoted as saying in a report by BBC.
Her comments came as the United States announced that Americans could be vaccinated as early as December 11.
“If we stand together worldwide, we can control and overcome the virus and its consequences. Therefore, more effort is worthwhile,” she added.
During the conference, the world’s richest economies promised that poor countries that were severely battered by the pandemic would get support, but details were yet to be divulged.
In a separate statement, French President Emmanuel Macron was quoted as saying: “Today we are facing a health crisis that threatens the lives of millions of people. But there can be no efficient response to this pandemic if it is not global, coordinated and based on solidarity.”
Macron urged his fellow G20 leaders to “go further and faster” in supporting poorer nations through supporting doses of vaccines, forging industrial partnerships, as well as sharing intellectual property.
The European Union has urged the G20 leaders to shell out some $4.5 billion to help and agree to new global standards for tackling pandemics.
“The G20 committed in March to do whatever it takes to overcome the pandemic and protect lives and livelihoods,” UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a statement.
“We must hold ourselves to account for that promise,” he added.
The G20 is composed of Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, and the European Union.