Money for ACT Accelerator trickles in, Dr Tedros says: Yeh Dil Maangay More
GENEVA, Nov 14 (BNC Network): Contributions to the global anti-COVID initiative ACT Accelerator have risen to over US$ 5.1 billion, but the project urgently needs an additional US$ 4.2 billion in a month, the WHO said.
This amount is not much as compared to the US monthly spend of $6.2 on cigarettes.
A further US$ 23.9 billion are required in 2021, if Act Accelerator tools are to be deployed across the world as they become available.
Again this pales away if you compare it to the $80 billion (Rs 59,63,03,20,00,000)that Americans alone spend on smoking. Fortune says he world spends $on trillion on cigarettes.
Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator is a global Collaboration to accelerate the Development, Production and Equitable Access to New COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines
Since April, the ACT Accelerator partnership, launched by WHO and partners, has supported the fastest, most coordinated, and successful global effort in history to develop tools to fight a disease. With significant advances in research and development by academia, private sector and government initiatives, the ACT Accelerator is on the cusp of securing a way to end the acute phase of the pandemic by deploying the tests, treatments and vaccines the world needs.
Heads of state, global health leaders, scientists and the private sector have come together at the Paris Peace Forum this week to discuss how to meet the urgent funding needs of ACT Accelerator.
Speaking at the Forum, French President Emmanuel Macron said: “Together, we have implemented the ACT-A system, with the ambition to be part of a global public good approach, that is, to allow access for all to these tools to fight this pandemic.”
Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, reminded delegates that the US$ 28 billion needed to fund the ACT-Accelerator to fulfil its objectives is equivalent to “the same sum the transport sector and the global tourism sector lose in just two days of lockdown”.
“There is a very clear message behind it. It’s way better to invest now in the ACT Accelerator and to COVAX – for the distribution in every corner of the world of vaccines – than to struggle longer with all the confinement measures we have suffered during this pandemic,” she said.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the WHO, said: “This pandemic is unprecedented, and it has taken the whole world hostage. The only option we have is cooperation and solidarity. It is a must. The world is seeing it that way.”
Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway and co-chair of the ACT Accelerator Facilitation Council, said: “We have to look beyond aid for financing. We need to look at private sector, innovative mechanisms, other ways to get this money, fast. We need to accelerate this faster than we are doing these days.”
Melinda Gates, co-chair of The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said: “COVID-19 has made distinction completely irrelevant. In this pandemic, there’s no difference between helping yourself and helping others. The self-interested thing and the selfless thing are one and the same.”
In just 6 months the ACT Accelerator, through its partnership of the world’s leading international health organizations, has already delivered significant and concrete results: more than 50 diagnostic tests are being evaluated and new rapid antigen diagnostics are being made available for low and middle income countries; life-saving dexamethasone treatments are being used and rolled out; new monoclonal antibodies are being evaluated; 186 countries are working with COVAX, the world’s largest and most diverse portfolio of vaccines; a diverse research portfolio of nine vaccines candidates are in clinical trials and systems requirements for delivery of COVID-19 tools have been mapped in 4 of the world’s 6 regions.
The urgent funding need of US$ 4.2 billion will save lives, lay the groundwork for mass procurement and delivery of COVID-19 tools around the world, and provide an exit strategy out of this global economic and human crisis.