Deliver pledged COVID-19 vaccines, Davido, Elumelu, others tell G-20 leaders
Ahead of the G-20 leaders’ summit this weekend, 48 UNICEF African ambassadors have called on leaders of the world’s wealthiest nations to deliver more doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Africa.
They argued that G-20 countries had received 15 times more COVID-19 vaccine doses per capita than countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
The call, contained in a letter addressed to the leaders, has as signatories Nigeria’s Tony Elumelu, Davido, Kate Henshaw, and Femi Kuti, among other renowned UNICEF ambassadors, including Angelique Kidjo, Arlo Parks, Tendai Mtawarira and Ramla Ali.
The UNICEF ambassadors called on the G-20 leaders to fulfil their pledge to donate vaccines by December, along with the necessary resources required for vaccination.
Backing the call, UNICEF Executive Director, Henrietta Fore, said, “Vaccine inequity is not just holding the poorest countries back – it is holding the world back.”
In her statement expressing support for the call, Fore said, “Wealthy countries with more supplies than they need have generously pledged to donate these doses to low- and middle-income countries via COVAX but these promised doses are moving too slowly.
“Of the 1.3 billion additional doses countries have pledged to donate, only 194 million doses have been provided to COVAX.
“As leaders meet to set priorities for the next phase of the COVID-19 response, it is vital they remember that, in the COVID vaccine race, we either win together, or we lose together.”
An analysis conducted by science analytics company, Airfinity, revealed the severity of vaccine inequity between high-income and low-income countries, especially in Africa.
The UNICEF ambassadors in their letter also voiced the same concerns, noting that less than five per cent of the African population were fully vaccinated, leaving many countries at high risk of further outbreaks.
Lamenting that African countries, in particular, had largely been left without access to COVID-19 vaccines, they said the stakes could never be higher.
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