2 March 2021
ICC Secretary-General John W.H. Denton AO and Henrietta Fore, Executive Director of UNICEF, have penned a joint op-ed highlighting the urgency of addressing barriers to the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.
Recognising UNICEF’s role as the procurement partner for the Global COVAX Facility, leading the largest vaccine procurement and supply operation in history, the ICC and UNICEF chiefs have called on world leaders to address the “rounding error” presented by the US$659 million funding gap needed to support UNICEF’s role in the delivery of all COVID-19 tools and vaccines, country preparedness and roll out in communities.
The op-ed references a recent study, commissioned by the ICC Research foundation, which underscores how that the scarcity of vaccines in the developing world risks costing the global economy US$9 trillion this year alone – the equivalent to wiping the combined output of Japan and Germany for global GDP at a stroke.
“This pattern of distribution is a fundamental challenge to all notions of global solidarity and inclusion. If the initial impacts of the pandemic exposed a divide between rich and poor, inequitable access to vaccines risks creating a deep schism between the developed and developing world,” the leaders state.
“In short, no country will be freed from the economic effects of COVID-19 until the spread of the virus is firmly under control throughout the world. To put it another way: the jobs of autoworkers in the United States will not be secure until tyre producers in Thailand and consumers in Brazil are also rid of the virus.”
Read the full statement on the UNICEF website.