Today the Global Covid Summit took place, where donors were asked to provide new pledges to boost the international pandemic response. The UK, represented by Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab, did not make any new commitments (1) – meaning today’s meeting is the third (2) such Summit where the Government came empty handed and put nothing new on the table. Noting that the UK’s contribution to the global pandemic response this year is a mere five percent of what Germany has put in, Romilly Greenhill, UK Director of The ONE Campaign said:
“The UK Government has once more turned up to the party empty handed, leaving others to foot the bill on the global pandemic response (3). Learning to live with COVID shouldn’t mean forgetting the virus is still a major global threat and Britain needs to pay its fair share.
“The global response to the pandemic remains dangerously uneven, causing frequent surges in cases that show how fragile the recovery really is. Yet the UK has decided it’s ‘job-done’, prematurely abdicating from the international effort to control Covid, essentially gambling with the progress we’ve made.
“To properly protect people at home and elsewhere the Government must renew its vows to the global response, ensuring that the aftershocks of the virus are properly addressed everywhere. That means providing sufficient funding, support and resources to ensure all countries can get back on their feet together.”
Notes to Editors:
- The funding referenced today by Mr Raab – £265MN – is all money that has been announced before and is therefore not ‘new’ money. The breakdown of this figure is:
- £105m to expand testing capacity globally and boost oxygen supplies (this includes £60m for the Global Fund Covid-19 Response Mechanism)
- £160m for Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI)
- The previous two summits are the Global COVID-19 Summit hosted by Biden at UNGA on 22nd Sept and COVAX AMC Summit hosted by Germany on 8th April. That the UK has not pledged again makes this the third summit.
- The UK’s pledge pales in comparison to other countries. The UK’s ‘fair share’ contribution – the amount that was deemed reasonable to ask of by all countries – is £1bn in 2022. The UK has so far pledged £60m this year. That compares to the German pledge of £1.2bn – in other words Germany’s contribution to the global pandemic response is 20 times the size of the UK’s pledge.
- The Government is clearly behind UK public opinion. Polling done earlier this year showed that 72% support the idea that “Ending the Covid-19 pandemic globally in 2022 should be the top priority for the UK Government”