Dear G20 leaders: Vaccine equity is a must for Africa
Vaccine inequity leaves lower income countries – many of them in Africa – at the mercy of COVID-19. Well-supplied countries must urgently deliver the doses they promised.
This letter was part of the Donate Doses Now campaign. The initiative on vaccine equity ran during 2021 and was led by UNICEF and partner organizations.
Many countries in Africa have recently experienced a surge in COVID-19 cases and remain at high risk of further surges. But measures to contain the virus threaten fragile economic growth, and the stability of basic services such as health and education. Children are missing school and already fragile health systems are under increasing strain.
People across Africa are signing and sharing an open letter calling on G20 leaders to honor their promises to urgently deliver doses.
Read the open letter on why Africa needs pledged vaccine doses now 📚
See who has signed the letter 👇🏿
Dear G20 leaders,
At the COVID-19 Summit held at the United Nations recently, world leaders set a target that every country should vaccinate 70 per cent of its population. Many rich countries are on track, yet only a fraction of Africans are fully vaccinated.
This inequity is unjust – and self-defeating. It leaves Africans – and the whole world – at the mercy of the virus. Unchecked, it can create new and more dangerous variants.
Rich nations have pledged to donate over a billion vaccines this year and hundreds of millions more in 2022. This gives us hope. But Africa cannot wait. We need doses now.
We call on you to donate doses by December, along with resources to turn vaccines into vaccinations – to train healthcare workers, equip them with personal protection, and the infrastructure to store and transport vaccines.
The stakes could not be higher. Every day Africa remains unprotected, pressure builds on fragile health systems where there can be one midwife for hundreds of mothers and babies. As the pandemic causes a spike in child malnutrition, resources are diverted from life-saving health services and childhood immunization. Children already orphaned risk losing grandparents. Disaster looms for Sub-Saharan African families, four out of five of whom rely on the informal sector for their daily bread. Poverty threatens children’s return to school, protection from violence and child marriage.
Every day we wait risks a tragic reversal of hard-won development gains.
Remember the relief you felt when you got your first dose, when you could hug your elders, see life get back on track for your children. Africa needs this too.
The path out of the pandemic is clear. But we can only get out together. Please donate doses by December.
Brian “B-Flow” Bwembya
Djaili Amadou Amal
Aminata Makou Traore
J. Romeo Togba
Leo "IPORTAY" Bright
The Most Rev. Bishop
Rev. Dr. Fidon Mwombeki
Grace Hawa Weah
Yeama Sarah Thompson
Rev. Dr. Master
Sarah Myriam Mazouz
Bideew Bou Bess
Dr Jane Ruth Aceng
Shadrach "Trille" Wisner
El Hadji Assane Gueye
Low income countries, including in Africa, need more COVID-19 vaccines to meet demand, and there are enough doses available among well-supplied countries to reach the world’s most vulnerable people right now. Read more about UNICEF’s Donate Doses Now campaign.