WHO: $100bn needed to ensure access to COVID-19 vaccines

For the vaccines alone, more than $100 billion will be needed to ensure everyone globally can access the tools to fight COVID-19, the Director- General of World Health Organisation (WHO), Tedros Ghebreyesus, has disclosed. Ghebreyesus stated this during a virtual news conference in Geneva. “This sounds like lots of money and it is.


“But it is small in comparison to the $10 trillion that have already been invested by G20 countries in fiscal stimulus to deal with the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic so far,” the WHO boss said.


He said that the coming three months would present a crucial window of opportunity to scale-up the work of the ACT-Accelerator, a WHO-sponsored global collaboration to accelerate development, production, and equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments and vaccines.


Ghebreyesus, however, said to exploit this window, “we have to fundamentally scale up the way we are financing the ACT-Accelerator and prioritise the use of new tools.”


According to the WHO chief, there is a vast global gap between the ambition for the ACT-Accelerator and the amount of funds that have been committed. “We are only 10 per cent of the way to funding the billions required to realise the promise of the ACT Accelerator,” he said.


Noting that this week the registered cases of COVID-19 will reach 20 million, with 750,000 deaths, the WHO chief stressed that “behind these statistics is a great deal of pain and suffering.” “Leaders must step up to take action, and citizens need to embrace new measures,” he said.


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