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Coronavirus: Medical Equipment

Department for International Development written question – answered on 19th May 2020.

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Photo of Preet Kaur Gill Preet Kaur Gill Shadow Secretary of State for International Development

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what discussions she has had with international (a) organisations and (b) multilaterals on international co-ordination mechanisms and strategies to help ensure equitable access to covid-19 medical products and technologies for low and middle income countries in the last month.

Photo of Wendy Morton Wendy Morton Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

The UK is at the forefront of global efforts to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, tests and treatments, including for low-income countries. The Secretary of State speaks regularly with international and multilateral organisations on these issues, including the Director General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreysus, the WHO Vaccines Special Envoy, Sir Andrew Witty, and the head of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, Dr Seth Berkley, to name a few. Our officials also regularly speak with organisations leading the international response.

The UK is active in international collaboration and a leading funder for the COVID-19 global response. We co-led the Coronavirus Global Response Initiative event on 4 May, at which 7.4 billion Euros were pledged. The Prime Minister took part by video message, calling for global collaboration to rapidly develop a vaccine, ensuring availability for everyone who needs it. The UK supports the Action for COVID-19 Tools Accelerator. The UK's First Secretary of State participated in its launch by WHO on 24 April. We have committed over £313 million of UK aid to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, the Wellcome Therapeutics Accelerator and the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics, supporting equitable access to COVID-19 medical technologies.

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