Over 200 World Leaders Urge G7 Nations To Help Vaccinate World's Poorest.

Over 200 World Leaders Urge G7 Nations To Help Vaccinate World's Poorest

It is the first time the G7 leaders are meeting since the start of the pandemic. (File)

London:

Over 200 world leaders, including former presidents, prime ministers and ministers have backed a campaign urging the Group of Seven (G7) rich nations to help vaccinate the world's poorest from low-income economies against COVID-19 by paying two-thirds of an estimated USD 66 billion required.

A letter, seen by the "Guardian" newspaper ahead of the G7 summit to be hosted by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Cornwall from this Friday, warns that the leaders of the UK, US, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Canada must make 2021 "a turning point in global cooperation" because fewer than 2 per cent of people in sub-Saharan Africa have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

It is the first time the G7 leaders are meeting since the start of the pandemic. The three-day summit will cover a range of issues, with a particular focus on how the group can lead the global recovery from coronavirus.

The letter, whose signatories include former British Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, argues the investment needed is affordable for the world's richest economies and vital to stopping the spread of new coronavirus variants that could undermine current vaccines.

"The year 2020 witnessed a failure of global cooperation, but 2021 can usher in a new era. No one anywhere is safe from COVID-19 until everyone is safe everywhere," reads the letter.

"Support from the G7 and G20 that makes vaccines readily accessible to low and middle-income countries is not an act of charity, but rather is in every country's strategic interest, and as described by the IMF [International Monetary Fund] is 'the best public investment in history''," it notes.

According to the British newspaper, prominent figures who have signed the letter include former UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon, former Irish President Mary Robinson and Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and 15 former African leaders.

Other signatories include the UK's former overseas development minister Lynda Chalker, Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson, and the economist Lord O'Neill.

They say that polling suggests the public backs the concept, with a survey commissioned by Save the Children revealing that 79 per cent of people in the UK who have a view think the G7 should pay to make the world safe.

An estimated USD 66 billion over two years is needed for the global vaccine effort. The former leaders say the G7 should pay two-thirds of the cost, according to the size of their economies.

"For the G7 to pay is not charity, it is self-protection to stop the disease spreading, mutating and returning to threaten all of us," said Gordon Brown.

"Costing just 30p (pence) per person per week in the UK, is a small price to pay for the best insurance policy in the world. Savings from vaccination are set to reach around USD 9 trillion by 2025," he said.

Over the weekend, Boris Johnson said he would ask his G7 counterparts at the G7 summit to "rise to the greatest challenge of the post-war era" by "vaccinating the world by the end of next year".

While there are no details on funding or dose-sharing yet, Downing Street said the UK will be laying out details of its contribution to global vaccination as part of its presidency of the G7 Summit.

India has been invited as a guest country to the three-day event, scheduled between Friday and Sunday, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to join discussions on health and climate change virtually.

The coronavirus has claimed over 3,730,500 lives, along with more than 173,360,900 cases of confirmed infections across the world, according to Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 tracker.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV News

NDTV.com provides latest news from India and the world. Get today’s news headlines from Business, Technology, Bollywood, Cricket, videos, photos, live news coverage and exclusive breaking news from India.

https://www.ndtv.com/

Related news
A Texas Tradition: Crowning Miss Juneteenth

A Texas Tradition: Crowning Miss Juneteenth

Miss Juneteenth is a nationwide beauty pageant that celebrates Juneteenth, the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the U.S. Legendary pageant director Andrea Sledge is in charge of running the 2021 pageant in Fort Worth...

1

We Might Not Be Alone In The Universe - The Overview.

We Might Not Be Alone In The Universe - The Overview.

Gadi Schwartz on one of the biggest existential questions of the time: other intelligent life. » Subscribe to NBC News: » Watch more NBC video: NBC News Digital is a collection of innovative and powerful news brands that deliver compelling, divers...

1 5

Oregon police search for suspect in triple murder spree.

Oregon police search for suspect in triple murder spree.

Officials are trying to identify the motive, along with the suspect they said is armed and dangerous.

Tropical storm Claudette batters Gulf Coast

Tropical storm Claudette batters Gulf Coast

The storm system sparked tornadoes and delivered torrential rain, while parts of the West Coast are suffering a brutal heat wave.

3 dead after SUV-bus collision in South Carolina

3 dead after SUV-bus collision in South Carolina

Police are continuing the investigation into what caused the crash, which also sent multiple victims to area hospitals.

‘There’s No Dood Water’: West Virginia Community Lacks Critical Access.

‘There’s No Dood Water’: West Virginia Community Lacks Critical Access.

Many residents in McDowell County, West Virginia are forced to get creative to find water, using mountain springs or rain. NBC News’ Stephanie Gosk speaks to families who say infrastructure funding ran dry, leaving them without access to public wa...