WTO chief calls on rich countries to share vaccines now, rather than waiting for the surplus — MercoPress








 




 


WTO chief calls on rich countries to share vaccines now, rather than waiting for the surplus

Sunday, February 21st 2021 – 17:17 UTC



WTO Chief Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala criticized UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson for refusing to share vaccines with poorer countries until the UK has a surplus

The World Trade Organization, WTO, chief said that UK and other wealthy nations should send Covid-19 vaccines to poorer countries now rather than waiting for the surplus.

WTO Chief Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala criticized UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson for refusing to share vaccines with poorer countries until the UK has a surplus. The WTO chief said that UK and other wealthy nations should send Covid vaccines to poorer countries. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala underlined that richer countries should ensure the rollout of the vaccine worldwide is equal.

Okonjo-Iweala during BBC Radio 4’s Today program said, “the UK’s plan to donate its surplus vaccines to the developing world was welcomed but needs to be accelerated”.

She added, “I don’t think we should wait to get surplus when other people have been served and the rich and poor countries should have equitable access”. She also cited a study by the International Chamber of Commerce that outlines the case for global vaccines.

It comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the G7 that there is “no point” in vaccinating individual nations if the “whole world” does not receive the jab. During the meeting, Boris Johnson encouraged other developed nations to join the effort to increase the global vaccine supply.

Boris Johnson has also pledged to donate the majority of the UK’s surplus vaccines to poorer nations. He said he wanted to “ensure that we distribute vaccines at cost around the world – make sure everybody gets the vaccines that they need so that the whole world can come through this pandemic together.”

Nigerian American economist and a former two-time finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was appointed as director-general of World Trade Organization (WTO) on Sunday. She is the first African and the first Black woman designated as a Chief to lead the WTO which governs trade and commerce internationally.






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