August 12, 2021: -The World Health Organization needs $7.7 billion that officials say to help low-income nations survive the delta Covid variant with the production of vaccines, oxygen, and medical care.
The funding will go with the WHO’s Access to Covid-19 Tools, or ACT, Accelerator program, delivering critical medical supplies across the globe to combat the coronavirus, Dr. Bruce Aylward, senior advisor to the director-general of WHO, said at a Q&A with the other officials live-streamed on Tuesday on social media.
Aylward said the funds are needed to cover a $16.8 billion shortfall partially that impedes the WHO’s ability to fight the pandemic in developing nations with little or no access to vaccines.
“Besides, the moral issue is that the people should not die if the technology is available somewhere else, you know, the technology should help humanity as a whole. There’s also the issue that we can’t sort out this pandemic one country at a time,” said Dr. Mariangela Simao, the assistant director-general of WHO for access to medicines, vaccines, and pharmaceuticals.
“We need to help countries move more together. Otherwise, we’re going to live with this virus much longer than we need to,” she added.
WHO officials have set a goal of vaccinating nearly 10% of the global population by the end of September, nearly 40% by the end of this year, and 70% by the middle of next year. Some nations worldwide have yet to start their vaccination campaigns, while wealthier countries such as the U.S. and Israel are fully vaccinated over half of their populations.
Aylward said people in poorer nations who have a fever or other symptoms don’t have the testing supplies to know if it’s from Covid or other diseases, like malaria, tuberculosis, pneumonia, or HIV. Moreover, Aylward said the funding would cover Covid testing, oxygen treatments, and masks to give vaccine doses.
Wealthy nations have spent trillions of dollars mitigating the impact of the pandemic. Your economy is telling you you have to vaccinate the world, and of course, we didn’t listen,” he added.
Previously, the WHO said that it urgently needed $7.7 billion to run the ACT Accelerator, which requests an additional $3.8 billion at that time to purchase 760 million Covid vaccine doses for delivery next year, Reuters reported.