President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday has reiterated calls by the President of EU Commission Ursula Von Der Leyen, French President Emmanual Macron and CEO of Global Citizen Hugh Evans, for the world’s richest countries to donate 5% of their coronavirus vaccine stock to developing nations.
He was addressing the launch of Global Citizen’s five-point policy plan, titled A Recovery Plan for the World, which involves a year-long campaign and series of events that will enhance global efforts to ‘build back better’ from the pandemic.
Ramaphosa says no person, no country and no region must be left behind in the vaccination programme.
He has urged all world leaders to support the COVAX Facility to ensure an equal distribution of coronavirus vaccines to stem vaccine hoarding and ensure the world works together to beat the pandemic.
“We continue to call on world leaders to support the COVAX facility to ensure rapid and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccine for all countries and in this regard, I applaud and support what Presidents Macron and Ursula Von Der Leyen have called for that rich countries should donate 5% fo their vaccines to needy countries particularly on our continent Africa.
President Ramaphosa’s remarks at the WHO’s Global Citizen Recovering Better Together Campaign:
President Cyril Ramaphosa has also urged the sharing of information and technology to increase the manufacturing and distribution of vaccines in the fight against COVID-19.
He argues that this would allow African and other developing countries to join in the manufacturing of COVID-19 vaccines.
“Another important step is to enable the transfer of medical technology for the duration of the pandemic this will allow us to increase the production of COVID-19 vaccines and other medical products. It will also enable us to lower prices and to improve distribution.”
Call to donate vaccines
In a webcast with the World Health Organisation (WHO) European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen supported French President Emmanuel Macron’s call to donate vaccines to health care workers in Africa.
She said vaccines must reach all corners of the planet as soon as possible.
The European Union has contributed an additional 500 million euros ($606.3 million) to the WHO-backed COVAX programme to supply COVID-19 shots to emerging economies, doubling the bloc’s contribution, the European Commission said last Friday.
Global Citizen, which hosted a “One World at Home” benefit concert last April, launched a campaign to support equitable distribution of vaccines and kickstart a global recovery.
Leading artists are to take part in a broadcast special in May. Billie Eilish, a Grammy-winning American singer-songwriter, said she was three shows into a world tour a year ago but because of the pandemic had to cancel the rest to ensure the safety of her fans and crew.
But the 19-year-old said if everyone could come together to take action to get everybody access to the vaccines.
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus reminded that half of the 210 million doses that have been administered so far in the world, have been in only two countries.-Additional reporting by Reuters