UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday said “vaccine equity” was the fastest way to reopen the global economy and start a sustainable recovery. The UN says the world could not afford to be divided between the haves and the have-nots in COVID-19 challenge.
Noting that equitable access to vaccine is in every country’s self-interest, he said the world could not afford to be divided between the haves and the have-nots.He stated that COVID-19 could not be defeated in one country or one continent at a time, adding that a global response was required to win the battle.Decrying the “growing inequalities” in vaccine access and use, Guterres reiterated his appeal to wealthier nations not to hoard the product.“We must ensure that vaccines are seen as a global public good, people’s vaccines, accessible and affordable to all.“We must work together to prioritise those most at risk in all countries and close the financing gap,” he said.
The UN Chief lauded the African Union’s efforts to secure additional 270 million doses for countries in the continent.Guterres also applauded the African Export-Import Bank for its initiative to provide African countries with financing to access the new vaccines. He equally acknowledged efforts by the Economic Community of West African State (ECOWAS) to realise the target of vaccinating 60 per cent of the population as quickly as possible.The Secretary General said those initiatives and efforts were a demonstration of strong leadership, determination and solidarity in the fight against the pandemic in Africa.