WHO Says $23 Billion Needed to Expand Access, Fight Covid-19
(Bloomberg) -- The World Health Organization said $23.4 billion is needed to help provide access to Covid-19 vaccines, treatments and tests in low- and middle-income countries.
The organization gave the estimate for the needs of its ACT-Accelerator plan through September 2022.
The WHO has set a target to vaccinate at least 40% of people in every country by the end of the year with the help of Covax, the facility aimed at making inoculations available worldwide, after falling short of previous goals. Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has called on rich countries to step up their support of poorer ones in order to accelerate the end of the pandemic.
“This figure pales in comparison to the trillions of dollars in economic losses caused by the pandemic and the cost of stimulus plans to support national recoveries,” the WHO said Thursday.
Wealthier countries have used 75% of all the Covid vaccines produced, while lower-income nations have received about half of 1%, the WHO said earlier this month. In addition, close to 1 million booster shots are currently being administered around the world, which is three times the amount of vaccines given in poorer countries, according to the WHO’s chief scientist, Soumya Swaminathan. Some 62 countries have started giving extra shots, and more are considering it.
Only 5% of Africa’s roughly 1.4 billion people are fully vaccinated, even as the likes of the U.S. and the U.K. start to distribute booster shots.
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