The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation says there is a need for COVID – 19 vaccines to be subsidised so that low income countries can easily get the much needed drugs.
This is just as the foundation approved the release of $ 250 m to accelerate development and equitable distribution of COVID – 19 tests , treatments , and vaccines to end the pandemic .
The Chief Executive Officer of the Gates Foundation , Mark Suzman, said this during a virtual press conference on Wednesday.
Suzman said , “ At the Gates Foundation , we believe that actually , it is appropriate that the world should be trying to subsidise a lot of this work for the poorest developing countries not just in Africa but in other parts of the world because the needs are so great.
“ We would prefer them (poorer countries ) to be spending on strengthening domestic health systems which are underfunded .
And there are ways in which you can strengthen health systems to help accelerate COVID – 19 vaccine rollout or treatment for COVID – 19 which can actually strengthen future vaccine distribution for other vaccines and other treatments down the road . ”
The foundation subsequently announced the release of $ 250 m for the equitable distribution of COVID – 19 tests , treatments, and vaccines to end the pandemic .
In a statement on Wednesday , the Gates Foundation said the new release would bring the total amount of money it had on the COVID – 19 response to $ 1 . 75bn .
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The statement read in part, “ Today ’ s announcement brings the foundation ’ s total commitments to the global COVID – 19 response to $ 1 . 75bn .
This draws from three sources, including new funding commitments above the foundation ’ s planned annual programme budget ; at – risk financing from the foundation ’ s Strategic Investment Fund ; and a portion of funds channelled from foundation programmes where grantees identified urgent needs or had unique expertise to mitigate the effects of the pandemic . ”
The foundation called for global commitments to making the innovations available in 2021 to everyone who needs them .
Co – founder of the Foundation , Melinda Gates , said there was a need for world leaders to show total commitment.
She said , “ Everyone everywhere deserves to benefit from the science developed in 2020 .
We are confident that the world will get better in 2021 . ”
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