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What Global Citizens Should Know About Canada's Global COVID-19 Response


Why Global Citizens Should Care
Canada’s COVID-19 response has included much-needed global action as ending the pandemic requires international coordination and cooperation. Global Citizen’s Recovery Plan for the World campaign will call on the international community to take action together to achieve the United Nations’ Global Goals while putting an end to COVID-19 for everyone, everywhere. You can join us and take action to support the campaign here.

If the COVID-19 pandemic has made anything clear, it’s that viruses don't respect borders — and that individual country responses to them shouldn’t either.

As the world finds itself amid a second wave of the deadly disease, countries must respond with a global agenda, which is what Canada has done so far with its COVID-19 response.

To date, the country has mobilized more than $1.6 billion for the global COVID-19 response, which includes $940 million in funding for the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator — a global collaboration that was launched in 2020 to quickly develop tests, treatments, and vaccines against COVID-19 and to ensure their equitable distribution around the world. This also includes $740 million for humanitarian and development assistance, and $488 million in help for organizations to adapt and respond to the issues created by the pandemic in developing countries, according to the government of Canada.

The ACT-Accelerator’s founding organizations include the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI); Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance; the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria; UNITAID; the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND); the Wellcome Trust; the World Bank; and the World Health Organization (WHO).

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But it’s donor countries that now play a vital role in safeguarding the ACT-Accelerator’s success, and Canada has been one of the countries at the forefront.

Canada committed $40 million in April to CEPI in April 2020, then announced a $300 million commitment as a result of Global Citizen’s Global Goal: Unite for Our Future campaign, with $120 million earmarked for the ACT-Accelerator and $180 million pledged to address humanitarian and development needs created by COVID-19.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau then announced a commitment of $220 million to the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access (COVAX) Facility on Sept. 25 to help low-income countries access the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Another $400 million for global relief for "trusted partners on the ground fighting COVID-19," was announced on Sept. 29 by Trudeau during a video conference at the United Nations that he co-hosted with Secretary-General António Guterres and Jamaica's Prime Minister Andrew Holness.

On Dec. 14, Canada announced a further $485 million commitment to the ACT-Accelerator, and just last week, on Feb. 19 at the G7 Leaders’ meeting, Canada committed another $75 million to the ACT-Accelerator, bringing its total commitment to the ACT-Accelerator to $940 million.

These commitments have been significant and vital in the efforts needed to end the pandemic, but as it currently stands, the ACT-Accelerator is facing a funding gap of $22 billion if it’s going to be able to reach its target of ensuring at least 2 billion vaccines and other COVID-19 medical interventions are available to the poorest countries by the end of 2021.

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Countries like Canada must step up to truly bring an end to the COVID-19 pandemic, which is why Global Citizen is calling on all wealthy countries to fund the ACT-Accelerator and donate excess doses to other countries in need.

This is just one component of Global Citizen’s Recovery Plan for the World, which strives to end COVID-19 for all, end the hunger crisis, resume learning everywhere, protect the planet, and advance equity for all.