Around 230 prominent figures which include more than 100 former prime ministers, presidents, and foreign ministers are calling on the leaders of the well-known, powerful G7 countries to support the global vaccination drive and help the world’s poorest to get vaccinated.
They’re requesting G7 to pay two-thirds of $66bn that will be needed to produce and distribute vaccines in low-income countries.
A report analysed by the Guardian suggests that in the upcoming G7 summit to be hosted by Boris Johnson in Cornwall a letter will be presented to the members. The letter warns the leaders of the UK, US, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and Canada to make 2021,” a turning point in global cooperation.”
Notably, less than 2 percent of people in Sub-Saharan Africa have been vaccinated, most of them aren’t even aware of the campaign. On the other hand, 70% of the UK’s population has received at least one dose. Interestingly, this plea is followed by the backlash Johnson has received from his MPs over the decision to cut the foreign-aid budget. And ultimately, it’s going to severely affect the poor countries and coronavirus-related research projects.
In a statement, Prime Minister of the UK has said that he’s going to ask his counterparts at the G7 summit to “rise to the greatest challenge of the post-war era” by “vaccinating the world by the end of next year” he didn’t give specifics.
This campaign led two former prime ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown to put aside differences of the past and unite on a noble cause. Brown also said that this proposal is going to cost 30p per person per week in the UK “for the best insurance policy in the world”.
Prominent figures who became a part of this mission and signed the letter include former UN secretary-general Ban-Ki Moon, former Irish president Mary Robinson, 15 former African leaders including presidents Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria, Nobel Laureate for economics Bengt Holmström, economist Lord O’Neill, and many more global contributors.
They believe that the investment is affordable, realistic, and is the need of the hour to prevent new variants of Covid-19. They said, “The year 2020 witnessed a failure of global cooperation, but 2021 can usher in a new era. No one anywhere is safe from Covid-19 until everyone is safe everywhere,”
“Support from the G7 and G20 that makes vaccines readily accessible to low and middle-income countries is not an act of charity, but rather is in every country’s strategic interest, and as described by the IMF [International Monetary Fund] is ‘the best public investment in history’.”
The signatories of the letter also said that their arguments are backed by the public. A survey conducted by Save the Children finds that around 79% of the people in the UK think that G7 should come forward, pay, and help to make the world safe. People of different ages, communities, and countries are uniting for a single cause and that is fair accessibility of vaccines. Global cooperation and a well-formulated economic policy are necessary to tackle upcoming challenges and to ensure a greener future.