The United Kingdom has collected $ 1 billion (820 million euros) from its allies to help “vulnerable countries” to access coronavirus vaccines, the Foreign Office announced on Sunday ahead of a virtual visit from the UN chief in London.
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This sum collected in particular from Canada, Germany and Japan, added to the 548 million pounds (608 million euros) of London – which had promised to pay a pound for every 4 dollars collected -, “will allow distribute this year one billion doses of vaccines against the coronavirus in 92 developing countries, ”the ministry said in a press release.
“We will only be safe from this virus when we are all safe – that is why we are focusing on a global solution to a global problem,” said Foreign Minister Dominic Raab.
“It is only natural that on the occasion of the 75e anniversary of the United Nations, the United Kingdom has taken the initiative with its allies to make one billion doses of vaccines against the coronavirus available to vulnerable countries ”, he added.
This announcement indeed comes on the first day of a three-day virtual visit to the United Kingdom by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres to celebrate the 75e anniversary of the United Nations, whose first meeting was held in London.
“In this time of further global upheaval, I am honored to travel virtually to the UK to mark this occasion,” said in a statement Mr. Guterres, who came “to renew [la] a cause which consists in overcoming global challenges together and celebrating a country which played a decisive role in the creation of the United Nations ”.
The Secretary General will participate in a virtual commemorative event on Sunday and will attend a meeting on Monday with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Foreign Minister Dominic Raab and Alok Sharma, President of COP26, organized this year by the Kingdom United in Glasgow.
Antonio Guterres will also participate Monday with Boris Johnson in the One Planet Summit, organized by France to revive a green diplomacy put on hold by COVID-19.