The Second Global COVID-19 Summit showed that the world could come together around a global public good – ending the COVID-19 pandemic, and establishing a solidarity-based system to prevent, prepare for and respond to future health emergencies.
The display of unity by the Summit co-hosts – Belize, Germany, Indonesia, Senegal, and the United States, representing CARICOM, the G7, the G20 and the African Union – and the concrete commitments made by governments, the private sector and civil society, is further evidence of a reignited common purpose.
As Co-Chairs of the council of the ACT-Accelerator, a multi-partner group aimed at developing and facilitating equitable access to COVID-19 tools, we welcome this strong evidence of our shared determination to bring the pandemic to an end and prepare better to prevent and respond to the next health emergency.
The number of COVID-19 cases is now increasing globally, indicating that the pandemic is far from over, particularly for high-risk groups in lower-income countries. The reduction in testing rates makes it harder to track the trajectory of the virus, making it more likely that new variants will go undetected.
At the Summit, global leaders pushed back against complacency and committed to investing in the rollout out of vaccines, strengthening health systems, and facilitating access to treatments and tests.
New commitments of around US$ 1 billion were made to ACT-A’s constituent agencies, including a generous fair share pledge from Canada, and contributions from Italy, Belgium, France, the European Commission, New Zealand, the UAE, Denmark and Colombia.
These are in addition to pledges made at the recent AMC Summit, Germany’s commitment to meet its fair share in March and Norway’s early contribution to kick off the second budget cycle. All these contributions will prove crucial in driving the partnership’s work to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 tools.
Building momentum for expanding access to oral antivirals, the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) announced at the Summit a lower price for the treatment nirmatrelvir/ ritonavir – known under the brand name Paxlovid – with CHAI committing to work with ACT-Accelerator agencies to accelerate delivery.
The G7 Summit at the end of June provides the final major opportunity to meet the remaining financing needs of the ACT-Accelerator. The projected funding gap is now US$ 12.1 billion – with US$ 7.5 billion especially urgent. A failure to fund the partnership’s remaining needs will see vulnerable people go unvaccinated, untested, untreated, and unprotected.
Fully funding the ACT-Accelerator will support its life-saving work to expand access to life-saving tools, from new oral antivirals to booster vaccine doses, to ensure the most at-risk are protected wherever they live in the world. No-one is safe until everyone is safe.
President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa
Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre of Norway