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WHO and partners seek $31.3 billion for COVID-19 fight

South Sudan NEWS PORTAL (JUBA CITY)

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The World Health Organization and partners fighting the COVID-19 pandemic has urged governments and the private sector to help raise $31.3 billion in the next 12 months to develop and deliver tests, treatments and vaccines for the disease.

The group on Friday said $3.4 billion had been contributed to date, leaving a funding gap of $27.9 billion. Of that, $13.7 billion was “urgently needed”.

The WHO is working with a large coalition of drug-development, funding and distribution organisations under what it calls the ACT-Accelerator Hub.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom said the quest for a vaccine was an important bit of tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s clear that to bring COVID-19 under control, and to save lives, we need effective vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics – in unprecedented quantities and at unprecedented speed,” he said.

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“And it’s clear that because all people are at risk of COVID-19, all people should have access to all the tools to prevent, detect and treat it – not only those who can afford to pay for them.”

The ACT-Accelerator was launched in April to speed up research and development work on medical tools to tackle COVID-19.

The WHO chief’s remarks came as the number of COVID-19 infections globally closes in on the 10 million mark.

Currently, there are more than 9.6 million cases and over 489,000 deaths, according to data from the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.

The WHO earlier this week reported a massive increase in daily new cases, urging countries to find careful and creative ways of reopening their economies.

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In his address on Friday, Tedros also called for equitable distribution of the ACTs to help in the fight against COVID-19.

“It’s clear that because all people are at risk of COVID-19, all people should have access to all the tools to prevent, detect and treat it – not only those who can afford to pay for them,” he said.

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