Emmanuel Macron judged last Wednesday “inexplicable and intolerable” the slowness of the start of the vaccination campaign against Covid-19 in Africa, victim of “inequality” between poor countries and rich countries in access to vaccines.
“We must react to this blatant inequality,” said the president during a video conference with his Egyptian counterparts Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, Senegalese Macky Sall, South African Cyril Ramaphosa, Congolese Félix Tshisekedi and Comorians Azali Assoumani.
This meeting aimed to “identify the priority axes of efforts” of African countries in order to “bring their voices” to the videoconference of G7 leaders, which took place on Friday.
“The slowness of the vaccination campaign in poor countries, especially in Africa, is inexplicable and intolerable,” said Emmanuel Macron, and “we are at a moment of truth if we want to act more effectively”. “Morality and self-interest” demand it, he added, because “if we do not eradicate this virus all over the world, it will continue to circulate and to make variants. “
This situation, according to Mr. Macron, is due to a “bottleneck” in the production and global distribution of vaccines. For him, the priorities are “to increase production capacities” in Africa, in particular by imposing “transparency on the price of vaccines on the part of manufacturers”. It is not acceptable, according to Emmanuel Macron, that some African countries buy more expensive doses than Western countries.
The French president also proposed that the G7 agree to give a “joint mandate” to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Trade Organization to “remove the barriers” to access to the vaccine, considered as a “common good.” “
Emmanuel Macron has participated in recent days in several meetings on this issue, with the Director General of WHO, then with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as well as with the founders of Act-A. This mechanism, launched by the UN, aims to facilitate access to treatment for all and, thanks to its Covax system, to distribute at least two billion doses of vaccines in nearly 100 emerging countries.
Photo credit: huffingtonpost
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