G7 to donate 1 billion coronavirus vaccines to developing countries

Falmouth, UK, Jun 13 (EFE).- The world’s seven richest countries, G7, on Sunday announced an agreement to donate over a billion doses of the coronavirus vaccine to the developing countries.

“I am very pleased to announce that this weekend leaders (of G7) have pledged over one billion doses either directly or through funding to COVAX,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said during a press conference at the end of the summit in southwest England.

Leaders of the UK, France, Italy, Germany, Japan, Canada and the USA promised in the final communiqué a direct donation of 870 million doses, half of which will be provided to the COVAX program before the years’ end.

The United Kingdom will contribute with 100 million jabs, Johnson said.

The prime minister also played down a reported diplomatic row with the EU over the Northern Ireland Protocol, but insisted that his government will “do whatever it takes to protect the territorial integrity of the UK”.

The Northern Ireland Protocol is a post-Brexit agreement that maintains an open border with the Republic of Ireland, a pillar of the Good Friday Agreement that ended decades of bloody violence, and applies customs checks on items moving between Britain and Northern Ireland.

Calling the issue a “vanishingly small” part of discussions, Johnson preferred to focus on the vaccine donation pledge and the other targets the G7 has committed to.

In addition to providing global vaccine coverage, the group focused on boosting economic recovery, driving development of infrastructure and fighting global warming.

“The US is going to do our part – America is back at the table,” said US president Joe Biden, who was making his first foreign trip since taking office in January. EFE


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