Details of a financing plan to control Corona

Gordon Brown, former British Prime Minister, said:The outbreak of the new mutated “Omicron” of Covid-19 is not Africa’s fault, He blamed the governments of rich countries that stockpiled hundreds of millions of doses of the vaccine for themselves despite warnings that failure to vaccinate the population of the world’s most vulnerable regions would prevent the virus from mutating.

According to Brown, the World Health Organization’s ambassador for global health financing –In a report published by the newspaper,The Guardian(GUARDIAN) BRITISH- The problem does not lie in the failure of most African countries to achieve immunization goals, but rather in the difficulty of reaching it.

Instead of reeling from one crisis to another, the writer stresses the need to work during 2022 to control the spread of this virus, at a time when enough vaccines are being manufactured (11.2 billion doses already and 19.8 billion doses by next June) to immunize the entire world.

But the unacceptable and inescapable fact is that out of the billions of vaccine doses distributed, only 0.6% reached low-income countries, while more than 70% were allocated to high and middle-income countries, the author asserts.

The brink of poverty and the need for the money of the rich

The writer acknowledged that nearly 500 million people are on the brink of poverty or pushed into extreme poverty because of the health care costs they have to cover, and said that the low full immunization rate in low-income countries to 4% and 8% in Africa is the result of a shameful approach that shows that developed countries Human life is valued more in the countries of the North than in the countries of the South.

Therefore – the writer says – the biggest global challenge in 2022 must be to eliminate this stigma by providing the necessary funding to bridge the growing gap between the protected rich and the unprotected poor in the world, and thus to put an end to the permanent and unjustified lack of global health financing.

The writer (former British Prime Minister) adds that, based on his experience with the financial crisis of 2009, when the global economy was supported by more than a trillion dollars, he knows – based on what the famous British economist John Maynard Keynes said in a previous emergency – that “anything We can do it, we can take it.”

The writer believes that the richer economies must meet the urgent demand to provide the $23.4 billion – $1.5 billion of it to fund the World Health Organization – needed by the Agency to Accelerate the Production of Vaccines, Diagnostics and Therapeutics for Corona “ACT” (ACT).

Brown says that this amount seems huge, but it is very small compared to the $ 5.3 trillion in economic losses caused by the Covid-19 virus by 2026, according to estimates by the International Monetary Fund.

4 Possible Sources of Funding

The author proposes 4 potential sources of sustainable long-term financing to cover $23 billion, with an additional $25 billion to build countries’ capacity to administer tests and treatments and the $10 billion required annually, as recommended in 3 independent reviews, for preparedness and prevention of future pandemics.

And all of this can be pledged at the vaccine conference that US President Joe Biden will hold in early 2022.

1- The international community must agree on a formula for sharing costs equitably between countries, in the same way that it funds United Nations peacekeeping operations, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, and as rich nations did in the 1960s to eradicate smallpox. The public interest, which is the fight against infectious diseases, should be at the top of the priorities of the multilateral burden-sharing agreement to fund the World Health Organization, with the United States and Europe monopolizing about 25% of the funding, while the rest of the world will share the rest based on their financial ability.

This may seem like a huge amount, Brown says, but it is tiny compared to the $5.3 trillion in economic losses caused by the Covid-19 virus by 2026, according to estimates by the International Monetary Fund.

2- The profound failure of the global system exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic must be corrected. The World Health Organization and others with the authority to deal with these emergencies have the fewest resources, while the International Monetary Fund and the multilateral development banks control most of the resources without a specific mandate to act.

And $10 billion in World Bank resources, a new IMF vaccine facility and $100 billion in new international money should be used to build health systems in low-income countries.

3- We need to be more innovative when it comes to employing the guarantees of the rich and industrialized Nordic countries to obtain the necessary financing. For example, only $2 billion in guarantees could be used to create an International Financial Facility for Health, along with $1.5 billion in grants, an investment that could generate about $10 billion in additional resources for poor countries.

4- Thinking about how to increase government solidarity tax revenue in conjunction with the unitaid agency, which since 2006 has raised about $1.25 billion by directing a portion of airline taxes to global health funding.

With big pharma now acknowledging that they haven’t done enough, companies that would benefit from resuming trade should be asked to join international institutions in the task of eradicating COVID-19.

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