FIVE QUESTIONS THE G20 NEEDS TO ANSWER ON PANDEMIC PREPAREDNESS

Venice, Italy, Friday 9th July – Later today, the G20 will publish a high-level independent panel report into pandemic preparedness. The ONE Campaign welcomes this development but warns that it cannot come at the expense of urgent efforts to end the current pandemic – especially as many low-income countries face a crippling new wave of the virus, and rapidly accelerating infection rates threatening to overwhelm fragile health systems.

New analysis from ONE shows the growing damage that the third wave is causing in many African countries. To prevent this from becoming a humanitarian emergency, the G20 must ensure the work on Pandemic Preparedness does not distract world leaders from tackling the current crisis. To address these risks, and avoid repeating the mistakes that have hampered the global response to Covid-19, ONE is calling on the G20 to urgently answer the following five questions:

  1. How will the G20 combine work on pandemic preparedness with the need to end a current pandemic that is still raging in much of the world?
  2. How will the Pandemic Preparedness approach be funded so that all countries are equipped to tackle global health threats?
  3. How will the G20 ensure an equitable distribution of vaccines, therapeutic treatments, and other life-saving medical equipment during future health crises?
  4. What steps will be taken to protect supply chains and ensure that more areas of the world are able to produce life-saving medicines and equipment?
  5. A new allocation of IMF Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) is also due to be discussed by Finance Ministers this weekend. ONE’s analysis shows that G20 countries are set to pocket 60 times more SDRs than African countries in or at risk of high debt distress. How will the G20 ensure low-income countries have the resources to respond to the current pandemic and prepare for the next?

David McNair, Executive Director for Global Policy at The ONE Campaign, said: 

“It’s never too early to start preparing for the next global health crisis, but with more and more of the world’s poorest countries facing a deadly third wave of the pandemic, the G20 will lose any credibility for its leadership in the future if it fails to act now and denies those countries the same protection from the virus and its aftershocks that wealthy nations have received. 

“If they’re serious about learning the lessons from this pandemic and developing effective plans to tackle future health threats, G20 leaders must start by addressing the current unjust and dangerous double standards where the world’s wealthiest countries play by one set of rules and the world’s poorest by another. This is only leading to a lose-lose situation for all of us.”

Notes to editors 

  • The latest analysis from ONE shows that G20 countries are set to pocket 60 times more SDRs than African countries in or at risk of high debt distress. In particular, this graph shows how the crippling third wave is hitting many African countries.

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