Director General of the World Health Organization Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on July 28, 2021.
Jaber Abdulkhaleg | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
The World Health Organization is calling for $ 7.7 billion, which officials say is badly needed to help low-income countries survive the Delta-Covid variant through the provision of vaccines, oxygen and medical care.
The funds will be used for the WHO’s Access to Covid-19 Tools program, or ACT, accelerator program that provides critical medical supplies to fight the coronavirus worldwide, said Dr. Bruce Aylward, senior advisor to the WHO director-general, during a question and answer session with WHO officials, streamed a live stream on their social media accounts on Tuesday.
Aylward said the funds are needed to partially cover a $ 16.8 billion shortfall that hampers WHO’s ability to fight the pandemic in developing countries with little or no access to vaccines.
“Aside from the moral question – people shouldn’t die if the technology is available elsewhere, you know, technology should help humanity as a whole – there is also the problem that we can’t solve this pandemic in one country at a time. “Said Dr. Mariangela Simao, WHO Deputy Director General for Access to Medicines, Vaccines and Medicines.
“That’s the reality,” she continued. “We have to help the countries move closer together. Otherwise we will live with this virus much longer than necessary.”
WHO officials have set a goal to vaccinate at least 10% of the world’s population by the end of September, at least 40% by the end of this year, and 70% by the middle of next year. Some nations around the world have not yet started their vaccination campaigns, while wealthier countries like the US and Israel have already fully vaccinated more than half of their populations.
Aylward said people in poorer countries who have a fever or other symptoms don’t have the test materials to know if it’s Covid or other diseases like malaria, tuberculosis, pneumonia or HIV. In addition to providing doses of vaccine, Aylward said the funding will also include Covid testing, oxygen treatments and masks.
Wealthy nations have spent trillions of dollars to mitigate the effects of the pandemic, he said. “Your economy tells you to vaccinate the world and of course we didn’t listen,” he said.
The WHO previously said it was in dire need of $ 7.7 billion to run the ACT Accelerator, and at that point was calling for an additional $ 3.8 billion to buy 760 million doses of Covid vaccine for delivery the next Year, reported Reuters.
“This is the defining moment of our time,” said Aylward. “At some point we look back and that will be the question: How did you behave in those crucial moments?”