World leaders launched a call to end the pandemic as a global emergency in 2022 by funding the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator by USD 23 billion, a partnership of leading agencies, providing low and middle-income countries with tests, treatments, vaccines, and personal protective equipment.

The initiative, sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO), aims to help countries where people are unable to receive vaccinations, PCR tests, or proper medical care when infected with the coronavirus. The initiative said that USD 16 billion out of the 23 billion are needed to support these countries, according to a release issued by the initiative.

The ACT-Accelerator called for the support of higher-income countries, at a time when vast global disparities in access to COVID-19 tools exist. It added that over 4.7 billion COVID-19 tests have been administered around the world since the beginning of the pandemic.

However, only about 22 million tests have been administered in low-income countries, comprising only 0.4 percent of the global total. ACT noted that only ten percent of people in low-income countries have received at least one vaccine dose. This massive inequity not only costs lives, but it also hurts economies and risks the appearance of new and more dangerous variants.

The ACT-Accelerator Facilitation Council آ’s Finance and Resource Mobilization Working Group, comprised of countries across income groups and chaired by Norway, has agreed on a new financing framework to help overcome this inequity. The framework sets out guidance on the آ‘fair share آ’ of financing that richer countries should each contribute to the ACTAccelerator’s global response. ‘Fair shares’ are calculated based on the size of their national economy and what they would gain from a faster recovery of the global economy and trade.

Supporting the rollout of tools to fight COVID-19 globally will help to limit virus transmission, break the cycle of variants, relieve overburdened health workers and systems, as well as saving lives. With every month of delay, the global economy stands to lose almost four times the investment the ACT-Accelerator needs, the statement added.

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