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Plea for funds against global Delta threat

Tuesday August 17th 2021

A major appeal has been launched for funds to tackle the global threat of the Delta variant of COVID-19.

The World Health Organization is seeking some 7.7 billion dollars to improve tracking of the variant in poor countries – and also treatment for affected patients.

The funding would also pay for protection for health workers and research into the variant, WHO said.

The money is being sought for its ACT-Accelerator programme which has a budget of 38 billion dollars, of which nearly 18 billion has been raised so far.

WHO director general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: “US$7.7 billion is needed urgently to fund the ACT-Accelerator’s work to address the Delta surge and put the world on track to ending the pandemic. This investment is a tiny portion of the amount governments are spending to deal with COVID-19 and makes ethical, economic and epidemiological sense. If these funds aren’t made available now to stop the transmission of Delta in the most vulnerable countries, we will undoubtedly all pay the consequences later in the year.”

Carl Bildt, the international statesman and former Swedish Prime Minister, who is WHO’s special envoy, said: “Ending the pandemic will generate trillions of dollars in economic return due to increased global economic output and reduced need for government stimulus plans to deal with the health and financial crisis that COVID-19 causes. The window for action is now.”

Tags: Flu & Viruses | World Health

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