The group of major economies (G20) has set up a fund to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. Its funds are to be used to strengthen health systems and close budget gaps over five years, as the health ministers of the G20 countries decided in Nusa Dua on the Indonesian island of Bali.
20 countries and three charities pledged $1.4 billion, Indonesia's government reported. Germany is participating with 69 million euros, as reported by informed circles. However, the World Bank and World Health Organization (WHO) have identified funding gaps in the fight against the pandemic of 10.5 billion US dollars over the next five years.
The meeting of health ministers created a fundraising mechanism, a working group and a governing body, said Secretary-General at Indonesia's Health Ministry, Kunta Wibawa Dasa Nugraha. The virus knows no borders. It is therefore necessary to create a more resilient healthcare architecture.
However, health experts were critical of the pandemic fund. The promised funds are only a good tenth of the estimated needs. "We're sailing the ship while we're building it," said Fiona Uellendahl of the children's charity World Vision. The most important lessons from the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic should first have been drawn before new instruments are brought into being.
What was experienced in the fight against Covid-19 should not happen again: "Above all, the selfishness of rich countries and the lack of solidarity with countries that do not have the means to vaccinate and care for their entire population adequately," criticized Uellendahl .
However, the G20 health ministers also agreed to evaluate the international program against the pandemic "Access to Covid-19 Tools Accelerator" (ACT-A). He was responsible for the worldwide distribution of the vaccines, but this worked poorly. Critics accused rich donor countries of selfish actions, which led to an imbalance between the global north and south that has not been overcome to this day.
Health ministers indirectly acknowledged problems by stressing that all nations must have "equal access to emergency medical care" in the future. The ACT-A concept must be made "more sustainable and stable".