By Rogers Wanambwa
KIU, Main Campus - As the Group of 20 (G20) leaders prepare to meet on November 21, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, on Tuesday, called on the countries to bridge the financial gap of USD28 billion needed to finance the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-Accelerator) and its COVAX facility.
The UN Secretary-General, in a letter addressed to the G20, said that, “as we tackle this unprecedented pandemic, the world needs unprecedented leadership that is united in its quest to respond to the crisis and recover better.”
As it is, pro-tem Chair Mohammed Al-Jadaan, on April 24, announced the ACT-Accelerator, or the Global Collaboration to Accelerate the Development, Production and Equitable Access to New COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines, which is a G20 initiative.
Nonetheless, Guterres explained that recent positive early results on COVID-19 vaccine trials, “have added a new sense of urgency to the need for equitable access to vaccines, diagnostics, and therapeutics.”
On this note, he added that, “It is also vital to invest in health systems accessible to all, including through Universal Health Coverage.”
While addressing poverty and hunger, the UN Secretary-General said that a further 115 million people are at risk of plunging into extreme poverty and acute hunger could almost double. This is likely to affect the lives of more than a quarter of a billion people.
“I call on the G20 to support the implementation of social protection floors for all, regardless of age, gender, religion, origin, migration status or sexual orientation, including for those in the informal and invisible care economy,” he said.