The World Health Organization said Thursday it needed $23.4 billion over the next 12 months for its plan to conquer Covid-19, urging the G20 to show some leadership and pay up.
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus bluntly told the Group of 20 global powers, meeting this weekend in Rome, they could no longer leave poorer countries hanging out to dry in the pandemic.
Tedros said the money was needed to secure Covid-19 vaccines, tests and treatments — and potentially prevent another five million deaths in the crisis.
The G20 “can make the political and financial commitments that are needed to end this pandemic”, Tedros told a press conference.
“We are at a decisive moment, requiring decisive leadership to make the world safer.”
The WHO-led Access to Covid Tools Accelerator aims to develop, produce, procure, and distribute tools to tackle the pandemic.
The WHO said that the $23.4 billion needed to fund it “pales in comparison to the trillions of dollars in economic losses caused by the pandemic and the cost of stimulus plans to support national recoveries”, the WHO said.