Over 200 Leaders Urge G7 to Vaccinate World’s Poorest Nations Against COVID-19

Over 200 prominent political leaders have urged leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) countries to financially help vaccinate low-income countries against COVID-19.

In a letter seen by British news outlet The Guardian ahead of the G7 summit, over 100 former presidents, prime ministers, and foreign ministers were among 230 political figures to call for G7 to pay two-thirds of the estimated $66 billion needed for global COVID-19 vaccinations.

According to the signatories of the letter, financial support from G7, as well as from the Group of 20, to make vaccine distribution equitable, especially for the world’s poorest nations, is in “every country’s strategic interest,” arguing that the investment is affordable and essential to curbing the spread of COVID-19 variants.

Signatories also noted that the International Monetary Fund described making vaccines readily accessible to low and middle-income countries as “the best public investment in history.”

“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,” former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who was among the signatories of the letter, said.

“The year 2020 witnessed a failure of global cooperation, but 2021 can usher in a new era. No one anywhere is safe from COVID-19 until everyone is safe everywhere,” the signatories said.

Hosted by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Cornwall, England, the three-day G7 summit will begin on June 11.

The G7 consists of the world’s seven advanced economies — the United States, Japan, Germany, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, and Canada.

According to data from Johns Hopkins University, the world has recorded over 173 million COVID-19 cases and over 3.7 million deaths since the pandemic began last year.

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