Following are UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed’s remarks at the high-level event on the ACT-Accelerator, today:
Today’s discussion has been incredibly important, and there is much that we are taking away from it.
The ACT-Accelerator is now a truly viable global solution and is already delivering results in each of its core areas of diagnostics, vaccines and equitable allocation. The ACT-accelerator has brought together the world’s premier international health organizations with a proven track record of working on end-to-end solutions — at scale. This is truly unique.
We now have the vehicle. It has been fuelled for the first part of the journey, but it will need refuelling to be able to deliver 2 billion vaccine doses, 245 million treatments and 500 million tests, to everyone, everywhere. We welcome new and additional commitment announcements today from the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, Sweden, the World Bank Group and the coalition of major pharmaceutical companies.
I thank you all on behalf of the Secretary-General for these commitments towards equitable access to new vaccines, and to the COVAX Facility in particular. This is a welcome first step towards the quantum leap in financing required to meet the $35 billion gap. But we have a lot of work ahead of us. If these commitments can be operationalized quickly, they will reduce the immediate $15 billion gap to around $14 billion to enable the ACT-Accelerator to advance its work in the next three months.
Let’s note all of today’s announcements were to advance work on vaccines. The therapeutics, diagnostics and health systems pillars all face significant immediate financing gaps. So we must do the funding for everything. Important efforts such as making available 120 million affordable, high-quality COVID-19 rapid diagnostics tests to low- and middle-income countries, that was announced by Dr. Tedros [Adhanom] earlier this week, are critical in containing this pandemic and must continue to support that.
The ACT-Accelerator is our best global solution to save lives and get economies and societies reopened and thriving again, in the quickest way possible. We must leverage the momentum and ambition shown today. I would like to thank, in particular, Dominic Raab, our United Kingdom co-host, and South Africa, WHO (World Health Organization) and our very important guests, including Bill Gates and Dr. Maria Letícia, who joined us from Brazil and explained her individual commitment to ending COVID-19.
Over the next three months, we have the opportunity to significantly alter the course of the pandemic. We must act now and act together to save lives and our economies.