German chancellor Angela Merkel has announced that Germany will be providing an additional N570billion (1.5 billion euros) to the ‘Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator’ (ACT Accelerator), the platform coordinated by the World Health Organization (WHO) to support the global efforts to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.
Merkel said this during the virtual G7 summit held alongside the Munich Security Conference last Friday.
According to a statement by the German Embassy in Abuja, on Monday, “The additional pledge comes on top of the 600 million euros (cabout N230 billion) committed previously by the German government. Most of the funding should be used for supplying vaccines worldwide through COVAX.”
The Chancellor who reiterated the WHO’s warnings that, ‘no-one is safe until everyone is safe,’ also stressed that a vaccination offer should be made to everyone in the world.
While mutant variants of the virus in particular pose a threat as long as worldwide infection rates remain high, there are 3.8 million who have been infected with over 100.000 deaths in Africa, according to the Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention based in Addis Ababa.
The statement said, the contribution is meant to be incorporated as part of a funding package to the ACT-Accelerator from international partners.”
The G7 leaders in their statement last Friday, said, “We reaffirm our support to the most vulnerable countries, our commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals, and our partnership with Africa, including to support a resilient recovery.”
They added that they would strengthen support for countries’ responses by exploring all available tools, including through full and transparent implementation of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative, aiming at alleviating the debt burden of eligible countries at a time when public finances are under particular strain from the COVID pandemic.
German is currently the largest donor to the ACT framework with contributions totalling N800 billion (2.1 billion euro).