[Ip-health] Unitaid calls on world leaders and the global community to support the Covid-19 Technology Pool

Thiru Balasubramaniam thiru at keionline.org
Mon May 4 22:33:40 PDT 2020


Unitaid calls on world leaders and the global community to support the
Covid-19 Technology Pool

Posted on May 4, 2020 <https://www.keionline.org/32953> by Thiru

On Monday, 4 May 2020, The European Union convened a virtual pledging
the Coronoavirus Global Response Initiative
<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngBTZ4xp3HM>, in concert with Canada,
France, Germany, Italy (incoming G20 presidency), Japan, the Kingdom of
Saudi Arabia (current holder of the G20 presidency), Norway, Spain and the
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. This pledging
marathon featured over 50 speakers; the program for the event can be found
here <https://global-response.europa.eu/programme_en>.

In her opening statement, President Ursula von der Leyen, President of the
European Commission, noted,

   The pandemic is affecting every single country in the world. It has
   brought heartache and heartbreak, pain and suffering to millions of people.
   It has put enormous strain on healthcare and welfare systems across the
   globe. It has shut down public life in many parts of the world – keeping us
   away from our families, friends and the things we love. It has badly hit
   our economy, putting jobs, livelihoods and businesses at risk.

   But it has also brought the best out of humanity. Our modern day heroes
   are now our healthcare workers. Small acts of solidarity, love and kindness
   are spreading around the world. And this virus has reminded us that we have
   to protect each other if we want to protect ourselves.

   The reality is that we will have to learn to live with the virus – until
   and unless we develop a vaccine.

   This is why we have to join forces and pool our money and our minds to
   kick-start work on vaccines, diagnostics and treatments against
   coronavirus. We need to develop, produce and deploy them to every single
   corner of the world. And we must ensure that they are available and
   affordable for all.

   This is why we must all chip in to finance this truly global endeavour.
   So our first objective is to raise an initial sum of EUR 7.5 billion, or
   USD 8 billion. This is the funding that is needed right now to ramp up work
   on vaccines, diagnostics and treatments.

   But more will be needed. So, today is only the start of a global
   pledging marathon.

   The second objective is to bring under the same roof all global health
   organisations working on initiatives to fight the pandemic. Together, we
   offer to the world a framework for global cooperation on vaccines,
   diagnostics and therapeutics.

In addition to the World Health Organization (WHO), the following global
health agencies intervened in the pledging marathon: Coalition for Epidemic
Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, Foundation for
Innovative New Diagnostics, and Unitaid.

Marisol Touraine, Executive Board Chair, Unitaid, reminded world leaders of
the exigent need to “ensure equitable access to these new tools and make
sure all those who need them, can access them.” She called on the global
community to “learn from the positive experience of the Medicines Patent
Pool in making HIV treatments available to most of those who need them and
support the implementation of a global voluntary pooling mechanism for
Covid-19 related technologies, as proposed by WHO and the President of
Costa Rica.”

In terms of ensuring access to diagnostics and therapeutics, Touraine
stressed that

“Unitaid is the official co-convener of the therapeutics partnership and an
active partner of diagnostics and health systems strengthening pillars.
Resources to Unitaid will serve to ensure that medicines and diagnostics
are adapted to everyone, everywhere, in both the North and South. We will
focus on unblocking market barriers to these products.”

Thiru Balasubramaniam
Geneva Representative
Knowledge Ecology International
41 22 791 6727
thiru at keionline.org

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