Former world leaders urge G7 to finance vaccinations in poorer countries

London, Jun 7 (EFE).- A group of 230 former world leaders, including 100 former prime ministers, presidents and foreign ministers, have urged G7 countries to finance Covid-19 vaccinations in poorer countries.

Among the signatories of a letter to the G7, which is comprised of the world’s richest nations, are former British prime ministers Gordon Brown and Tony Blair, the former president of Ireland Mary Robinson, former UN secretary general Ban-Ki Moon, ex-Pakistani prime minister Shaukat Aziz and former South Korean PM Han Seung-soo.

The letter came after a poll conducted by humanitarian organization Save the Children across the G7’s western members (US, France, Germany, Canada and the UK) ahead of the G7 leaders summit in Cornwall this week showed that over 70 percent of the respondents “support the G7 paying a share of the $66bn needed for vaccines globally, in line with the size of their economies.”

“The polling revealed that in every country polled, at least 80 percent of those with a view either way backed rich G7 countries sharing some of the doses they have ordered,” the non-profit said in a statement.

“For the G7 to pay is not charity, it is self-protection to stop the disease spreading, mutating and returning to threaten all of us,” Gordon Brown said in the letter.

The former British premier estimates that the funding required would cost only 30 pence per person per week in the UK, which he described as “a small price to pay for the best insurance policy in the world.”

“Savings from vaccination are set to reach around $9 trillion by 2025,” he added.

Save the Children said that while more than 70 percent of adults in the UK have already received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, in much of sub-Saharan Africa, less than 2 percent of adults have been vaccinated.

“The 230 names on the letter reveals the desire across every continent for leaders to set aside their differences and come together, show international cooperation can work and make the world the healthier, safer, greener and fairer place we all want to see,” Brown said. EFE


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