Understanding the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator
As the search for a vaccine intensifies and renews hopes for a prompt recovery, concerns about worsened inequalities and wealthier countries hoarding these life-saving resources also emerge.
To make sure this doesn’t happen and that everyone, everywhere, can benefit from essential vaccines and treatments against COVID-19, unprecedented levels of global cooperation are needed now more than ever.
Where you live shouldn’t determine whether you live; that’s why Global Citizen has teamed up with the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator — a platform for collaboration launched by seven global partners, including the World Health Organization (WHO).
Here’s everything you need to know about the ACT-Accelerator — and how you can help ensure no one is left behind in the fight against this deadly pandemic.
What is the ACT-Accelerator?
Launched in April 2020 at an event co-hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, the ACT-Accelerator is a unique platform for cooperation aimed at accelerating global efforts in the fight against COVID-19.
It unites world leaders, global health actors, and private sector organizations to develop life-saving resources against COVID-19 in record time — and ensure their equitable distribution around the world.
What's the objective of the ACT-Accelerator?
The ACT-Accelerator is working to put an end to the COVID-19 pandemic as quickly, efficiently, and equitably as possible. It does so by accelerating global cooperation to identify innovative COVID-19 vaccines, treatments, and therapeutics while strengthening the world’s most fragile health systems to ensure no one is left behind.
Building on lessons learned from past health crises, and recognizing that inequity is always unacceptable, the ACT-Accelerator partners joined forces to save millions of lives and provide equal access to future COVID-19 resources as they are developed.
Who is involved in it?
Seven health organizations are part of the ACT-Accelerator: 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 WHO.
Meanwhile, individual countries, such as Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Norway, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, and the United Kingdom, also support this platform.
How does it work?
The ACT-Accelerator works across four key pillars:
- The diagnostics pillar, managed by FIND and the Global Fund, and aimed at saving 9 million lives and avoiding 1.6 billion COVID-19 infections by ensuring equitable access to 500 million tests by mid-2021;
- The vaccine pillar, also known as the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility (COVAX), co-led by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the WHO, and CEPI, to ensure the equitable distribution of 2 billion doses of vaccines by the end of 2021;
- The therapeutics pillar, handled by UNITAID and the Wellcome Trust, to provide low- and middle-income countries with 245 million treatments by mid-2021;
- The health systems connector pillar, which, through joint efforts from the World Bank and the Global Fund, helps strengthen global health systems to ensure vital tools reach the people who need them the most.
According to the WHO, all pillars are held accountable for achieving their objectives through regular financial reporting and investment cases made by their respective officials.
How much is the ACT-Accelerator looking to raise — and what has it accomplished so far?
The ACT-Accelerator is calling on the global community to step up and mobilize $38 billion to end the pandemic for everyone around the world.
Contributions made towards COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines, including those from the ACT-Accelerator, are tracked by the Economist Intelligence Unit COVID-19 Health Funding Tracker here.
How can I help?
You can help by taking action here to ask that world leaders support the ACT-Accelerator and step up in the fight against COVID-19 and its devastating effects around the world.
You can also learn more about COVID-19 and its social and economic impacts, as well as the global response, through Global Citizen’s COVID-19 coverage here.