Meghan Markle and Prince Harry co-signed a letter with the World Health Organisation (WHO) in a bid to get the “wealthiest” countries to help vaccinate the world’s population and end the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last month, the Duke and the Duchess of Sussex announced that they had partnered with the WHO in order to open a “dialogue on the urgent need to achieve global vaccine equity.”
In a letter co-signed by the WHO’s Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the former royals demanded leaders from richer nations that will be present at this year’s G20 summit, to “end the Covid crisis” by “working to vaccinate the world's population”.
The open letter, published on the WHO’s official website, has been uploaded just before the G20 leaders' summit is set to start this weekend in Rome.
This will be the 16th meeting of Group of Twenty, and is the first face-to-face G20 summit since the COVID-19 pandemic broke.
The official letter read: “Dear G20 leaders, when the leaders of the world’s wealthiest nations met at the G7 Summit in June, they collectively announced that 1 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines would be sent to low- and low-and-middle-income countries to help vaccinate the world.
"Pharmaceutical companies have pledged almost the same.
“Yet, as several nations still don’t even have enough vaccines for their own health workers, the world is left asking: Where are the doses?”
The couple and Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus’ open letter was supported by several CEOs and founders of NGOs, including Inger Ashing, the CEO of Save the Children International.
They questioned why only three percent of people in low-income countries had received the jab so far, despite 7 billion doses administered globally.
Moreover, they slammed the COVAX initiative, which was meant to help access COVID-19 vaccines and had been promised 1.3 billion doses to be donated for the low-income countries it supports.
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The open letter asked why only 150 million doses had been shipped and questioned: “Where are the rest?”
The document read: “Promises aren’t translating into vaccines reaching the people that need them.”
According to the WHO and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, certain countries represented at the G20 summit are in possession of vaccine leftovers that have been “destined to be wasted once they expire.”
The G20 summit is made up of the European Union as well as the following 19 countries: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the UK, and the US.
As the document went on to point at the importance of the COVID-19 vaccine and offer a list of radical solutions and recommendations, the three ambitious authors concluded with the following statement: “There are many crises that you – the stewards of our planet – must grapple with this weekend: the climate emergency, the state of our global economy, a recommitment to multilateralism.
“Yet, in many ways, making headway on these priorities depends on whether we can beat this pandemic.
“Cooperation of historic proportion is the only solution. Lives literally depend on it.”
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