G7 rejects pleas to fund COVID jabs for poor countries

TEHRAN, Jun. 12 (MNA) – G7 leaders have rejected pleas to find billions of pounds to end Covid jab shortages in poor countries, despite Boris Johnson making a plan to “vaccinate the world” his aim for the Cornwall summit.

Aid groups said the richest nations had failed what one called “a moment of truth” by not even discussing a financing package – instead merely donating doses expected to total less than 10 percent of the number needed, the Independent reported.

On the eve of the summit, more than 100 former world leaders, including Gordon Brown and Tony Blair, called for the G7 to pay two-thirds of the $66bn (£46.8bn) cost of a truly global programme.

The move would not only end “vaccine apartheid”, Mr Brown wrote in The Independent, but would be “an act of self-interest” – triggering a $9 trillion economic bounce back by 2025, the International Monetary Fund said.

But G7 leaders are instead expected to donate only one billion of the 11 billion doses required, as Downing Street admitted it had not put a financing package on the G7 agenda.

Mr Brown said the gathering had “failed the first test”, with a thin plan that amounted to “passing round the begging bowl” rather than a solution to meet the vast scale of the crisis.

Fewer than 2 per cent of people in sub-Saharan Africa have been vaccinated so far. No fewer than 20 African countries have run out of supplies or expect to do so very soon, with most people in most poor nations unlikely to receive the first dose until the second half of next year.

A joint Norway-South Africa plan, “based on ability to pay”, proposed the US paying 27 per cent of the $66bn, with smaller contributions from the EU (22 per cent), the UK (5 per cent), Japan 6 per cent) and Canada (2 per cent).

ZZ/PR/ FNA14000322000456

News Code 174676

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