The World Health Organisation says itwill review strategic priorities towards the drafting of financing framework in order to close the ACT Accelerator’s financing gap for 2021.
The global health agency said almost one billion doses of leading COVID-19 vaccine candidates had been secured as part of the COVAX Facility, and 189 countries and economies are now participating.
Speaking during a virtual media briefing on COVID-19, the Director-General of WHO, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, noted that the COVAX is in discussions with several other manufacturers and further deals will be announced in the near future.
Ghebreyesus added that WHO is working simultaneously with Gavi and UNICEF to evaluate the first set of requests received from countries who are eligible for assistance through the COVAX Facility.
“Addressing the financing gap is an urgent priority.
“On Monday, WHO and the European Commission are reconvening the Facilitation Council for the ACT Accelerator, with our Co-Chairs Norway and South Africa.
“The Council will scrutinise our strategic priorities and a draft financing framework to close the ACT Accelerator’s financing gap for 2021.
“This is crucial to ensuring all people everywhere are protected.
“We have all seen images of people being vaccinated against COVID-19. We want to see these same images all over the world, and that will be a true sign of solidarity,” he said.
Speaking further, the WHO boss calls for caution during the festive season.
According to him, celebration can very quickly turn to mourning if individuals fail to take the right precautions.
“The festive season is a time to relax and to celebrate – but we must not relax our guard. Celebration can very quickly turn to mourning if we fail to take the right precautions.
“As you prepare to celebrate over the coming weeks, please consider your plans carefully.
“If you live in an area with high transmission, please take every precaution to keep yourself and others safe.
“That could be the best gift you could give – the gift of health, life love, joy and hope,” he said.
WHO said more than 66 million cases of COVID-19 and 1.5 million deaths have now been reported so far.
“In the past six weeks the number of weekly deaths has increased by around 60 percent.
“Most cases and deaths are in Europe and the Americas,” Ghebreyesus said.
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