Over $75 billion must be invested to prevent repeat of COVID-19 pandemic – WTO

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By Henry Okonkwo

Director-General of the World Trade Organization, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has urged the global community to ramp up efforts of coronavirus vaccine donations, distribution and manufacturing support.

Okonjo-Iweala said this at the G20 finance ministers summit in Venice, Italy.

She said, “In the continuing pandemic, vaccine inequity of access between developed and developing countries is a real problem and we need to address it.”

In addition, a report presented by the High Level Independent Panel of experts recommended that the world’s governments commit to increasing collective financing for preparedness for the next global health crisis.

The experts state that the sum of at least $75 billion over the next five years will be necessary to prevent a repeat of the global multilayered impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

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The panel also warned, “The world is far from equipped to prevent or stop the next pandemic…There is every likelihood that the next pandemic will come within a decade — arising from a novel influenza strain, another coronavirus, or one of several other dangerous pathogens.

“Its impact on human health and the global economy could be even more profound than that of COVID-19.”

The suggested financing initiative would fund a coordinated surveillance and research network for infectious diseases, more resilient healthcare systems, better governance to manage crises and an improved global capacity to produce vaccines.

“We must learn the right lessons from this pandemic in order to be well prepared for the next one,” Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala added.

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