South African President Ramaphosa urges G7 countries to close Covid-19 funding gap

Ramaphosa, who joined a wealthy democracies club summit in England and addressed them on Saturday, said the G7 countries, which together account for more than half of global production, should support the accelerator of access to Covid-19 tools to plug the $ 16.8 billion funding gap for this year.

“We need to close the substantial funding gap for testing, treatment, essential supplies like oxygen and the health systems that enable testing, treatment and immunization,” Ramaphosa said in the presidency statement.

The World Health Organization’s ACT Accelerator program for global Covid-19 treatments aims to speed up production and ensure equitable access to tests, treatments and vaccines in the fight against Covid-19.

“If all G7 countries met their fair share target, this initiative would be two-thirds funded – and it would be 90% funded if all G20 countries paid their fair share,” Ramaphosa said.

Ramaphosa also urged G7 members to support the TRIPS waiver on patents for Covid-19 vaccines and to start negotiations that could help boost vaccine production.

About 90% of African countries will miss September’s target of vaccinating at least 10% of their population against the virus as a third wave of the pandemic looms on the continent, the WHO said.

Africa has now recorded five million cases of Covid-19, with the southern African region most affected, according to a Reuters tally.

“If the world is to emerge from this serious crisis, it is essential that we work together to mobilize and direct resources to the countries that need them most – and that we do so now,” said Ramaphosa.

The G7 includes the United States, Japan, Germany, Great Britain, France, Italy and Canada.


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