Group of Seven countries will provide 1 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses over the next year and work with the private sector, the G20 and other countries to increase the contribution over months to come, according to an almost finalized draft of the communique.
“The commitments since we last met in February 2021 including here in Carbis Bay provide for 1 billion doses over the next year,” said the communique, seen by Reuters.
“I’m pleased to announce that this weekend leaders have pledged over one billion doses, either directly or through funding to COVAX,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, referring to the international vaccine-sharing facility, as the seven-member bloc ended a three-day summit in southwest England.
“We will work together with the private sector, the G20 and other countries to increase this contribution over the months to come,” the communique said.
Two sources said the draft had been largely finalized by diplomats who worked late into Saturday night to agree most of the text, though they said parts of the draft could change over coming hours.
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There were few disagreements over the communique, which is going through final drafting, though Japan pushed for a tougher line on China, a diplomatic source said.
The G7 said in the draft that the vaccine donations built on exports from domestic production with at least 700 million doses exported or to be exported this year, of which at least 50 percent have gone to non G7 countries.
The COVAX facility, backed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), aims to secure 2 billion vaccine doses for lower-income countries by the end of 2021.
The group added that it had “a commitment to continue exporting in significant proportions; and the promotion of voluntary licensing and not-for-profit global production, which has so far accounted for 95 percent of the COVAX supply,” the communique said.
“We reaffirm our support for all pillars of the ACT-A across treatments, tests and strengthening public health systems as well as vaccines,” the communique said.
The ACT-Accelerator partnership was designed to accelerate the design, production and distribution of vaccines.
“We support discussions regarding the extension of the ACT-A mandate into 2022, noting the planned comprehensive review to optimize its effectiveness and accountability.”
The head of the International Monetary Fund Kristalina Georgieva warned of a deepening divergence in the pace of economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic as some countries struggle to access vaccines.
Addressing reporters at the Group of Seven summit in southwestern England, Georgieva said: “We have been warning about dangerously diverging recoveries. Most recent data confirms this trend not only continues, it deepens.”
The IMF chief added that while she expected a rise in inflation to be transitory, the world could not take that for granted and she was most worried about inflation in emerging economies.
G7 leaders also welcomed a plan for a new $650 billion allocation of the International Monetary Fund’s warchest to help countries cope with the COVID-19 crisis, urging an implementation by the end of August.
An almost final version of the G7 communique seen by Reuters said the countries were considering options for how best to channel the funds.