FPA – Monrovia — With a reported death toll of more than one hundred thousand and more than three million reported cases, the African continent appears to be at the bottom of the pile of countries likely to receive vaccines for the deadly Coronavirus.
Such disparity is driving concerns among regional stakeholders fearing the lack of vaccines at the disposal of the continent.
In a statement last week, the Mo Ibrahim Foundation (MIF) said it is deeply concerned about the lack of vaccines available for African countries. “Nobody will be protected against COVID-19 until everybody is. There will be no economic or social recovery unless we prioritize an equal global health recovery. It is a matter of shared interest, not of charity,” the foundation, the brainchild of the Sudanese billionaire noted.
While embracing a statement from French President Emmanuel Macron calling for, on top of immediate sharing of available supplies, cost transparency and technology transfer to accelerate the global production of vaccines, the MIF said more needs to be done. “This crisis is far from over, and we will have to fight against further pandemics. Emergency packages are helpful, but far from ensuring sustained security. We now look to G7 Leaders to make strong commitments to collectively engage in this global battle.”
As of February 19, confirmed cases of Covid-19 from 55 African countries reached 3,799,304. Reported deaths in Africa reached 100,325 and 3,347,374 people have recovered. South Africa has the most reported cases – 1,498,766 – and 48,708 people died. Other most-affected countries are Morocco ( 480,056 ), Tunisia ( 226,015 ), Egypt ( 176,333 ), Ethiopia ( 150,179 ), and Nigeria ( 150,246 ).
The concerns come as U.S. President Joe Biden has announced that the United States intends to provide an initial $2 billion, out of a total planned $4 billion, to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, to support the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment (Gavi COVAX AMC) to provide COVID-19 vaccines for 92 low- and middle-income countries.
Through the U.S. Agency for International Development, this contribution will support the purchase and delivery of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines for the world’s most vulnerable and at-risk populations, including frontline health care workers. This support is critical to controlling the pandemic and slowing the emergence of new variants as well as helping restart the global economy, all of which will ultimately benefit the American people.
The U.S. government will provide additional funding through 2022 and will work with other donors to make further pledges and commitments to meet the critical needs of the Gavi COVAX AMC.
The Biden-Harris Administration has made it clear that “our goal is to vaccinate [the] vulnerable”.
populations and reach those without other options, while working with our partners and governments around the world to ensure that none of us are in this alone