President of the commission Ursula von der Leyen said this at the first Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator Facilitation Council meeting.
“We have seen that the virus does not respect borders or conventions.
“We are all affected. Globally up to 95 per cent of the population is still at risk and developing countries are particularly vulnerable.
“But also industrialised countries are not safe.
“And if we wanted an experience of what it means that ‘no one is safe until everyone is safe’ there is probably no tougher lesson to be learned as from this pandemic,” von der Leyen said.
UN Secretary-General Antonia Guterres, who also joined the meeting, said that countries would never find the necessary funding for the fight against COVID-19 in their budgets and that it is necessary to engage international donors to this fight.
He noted that $35 billion are now required to continue fighting against the virus.
“We will never find this money in traditional humanitarian … budgets.
“Donors must go deep into the exceptional funds that they have approved to address COVID-19 in all its dimensions.
“Without this exceptional mobilization of resources the amounts I mentioned will never be reached,” Guterres said.
According to him, there is also a big problem related to the lack of people’s trust in vaccines and reluctance to be vaccinated, largely due to “conspiracy theories” and the lack of clear information that should be provided by governments.
The meeting aims to provide high-level political leadership and enabling advice to facilitate the work of the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator, its global collaborative framework, and its partnerships to ensure the realisation of the ACT-A vision.
The vision is for rapid development, scale-up and equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics, underpinned by the relevant strengthening of health systems.
The advice of the Council will include advocacy for collective approaches to solutions in the global interest and the mobilisation of additional resources as needed.