Building a Better Global Health Framework
The COVID-19 pandemic will not be our last. That is why, as we recover and rebuild from this crisis, we must also take steps to ensure that we can meet future disease outbreaks with effective cooperation and collaboration, instead of the kind of chaos and confusion that have exacerbated the current one.
GENEVA – It is incredible to think that when the last Paris Peace Forum was held, in November 2020, no COVID-19 vaccine had yet been approved. A year later, more than seven billion doses have been administered, preventing countless deaths and helping to turn the tide of the pandemic in many countries. But this scientific triumph is being overshadowed by the failure to ensure that all people benefit from it.
At the time of writing, more than one-third of the world’s population is fully vaccinated. But in Africa, that share is just 6.7%. This is unacceptable, and we must urgently change it. Any threat to global solidarity is a threat to global security and stability.
All governments have a responsibility to protect their own people. But the failure of some governments to share crucial resources – including information, biological samples, and tools including vaccines, tests, and other supplies – has deprived their counterparts in many low- and lower-middle-income countries of the ability to fulfill that mandate.