Coronavirus: International Cooperation

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 19th July 2021.

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Photo of Chris Law Chris Law Shadow SNP Spokesperson (International Development)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of inequitable global access to covid-19 (a) vaccines and (b) other medical tools on the UK's response to covid-19.

Photo of Wendy Morton Wendy Morton Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

The UK has been clear since the outset of the pandemic of the importance of equitable, global access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines, treatments and tests and has played a leading role in these global efforts. The UK stands side by side with our international friends and partners during this deeply challenging time to tackle COVID-19, providing over £1.3 billion of aid to the international response. The UK was one of the earliest and largest donors to the COVAX Facility, committing £548 million to COVAX's Advance Market Commitment which, through match funding, leveraged $1 billion from other donors in 2020. Our early funding has been key to helping COVAX secure deals with manufacturers to supply up to 1.8 billion doses of safe and effective vaccines for up to 92 low- and middle-income countries by early 2022. The Prime Minister also announced at the G7 that the UK will donate 100 million doses within the next year, 80% of which will go to COVAX to further support countries in need. We continue to work closely with the G7 and international partners on expanding and accelerating global access, including efforts to mobilise international financing, increase vaccine supply and support in-country delivery, including community mobilisation and efforts to build vaccine confidence, particularly in low-income countries.

The UK is among the largest donors to the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, contributing £813 million. This funds many international organisations working as ACT-Accelerator partners for rapid development and equitable access to COVID-19 medical tools, such as diagnostics, treatments and oxygen supplies, including the World Health Organisation, the Global Fund, Unitaid, the Wellcome Trust and the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics.

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