GEVENA, Switzerland – The World Health Organization said Thursday that its plan to secure and deploy vaccines, tests and treatments to combat the COVID-19 pandemic needed $ 23.4 billion over the next 12 months.
Cash for the WHO’s Access to Covid Tools Accelerator, which aims to develop, produce, acquire and distribute tools to deal with the pandemic, would help combat global inequality in deployment.
The WHO said that sticking with its plan could help prevent at least five million possible additional deaths on top of the nearly five million already recorded, according to an AFP tally from official sources.
“The ACT-Accelerator partnership of the world’s leading health agencies needs $ 23.4 billion to help countries most at risk to secure and implement COVID-19 tools from now until September 2022,” the WHO said in a statement.
“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 statement added.
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that “to end the pandemic, governments, manufacturers and donors must fully fund the ACT-Accelerator to address inequalities in access to vaccines, tests and COVID-19 treatments “.
“Fully funding the ACT-Accelerator is a global health security imperative for all of us; now is the time to act, ”he said.
The WHO said its plan would see ACT-A shift to a more targeted approach to addressing supply gaps in the poorest countries.
“Nowhere is this inequality more evident than on the African continent, where only eight percent of the population has received a single dose of the COVID-19 vaccine,” said South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.