World leaders committed to ensuring equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for all people around the world as the G20 Summit came to an end on Sunday.
The meetings took place over the weekend and was hosted virtually by Saudi Arabia, which chaired this year's G20 Summit, focusing on the pandemic and its devastating effects — with a spotlight on the most vulnerable populations worldwide.
The final communiqué said that the G20 countries will "protect lives, provide support with a special focus on the most vulnerable, and put our economies back on a path to restoring growth, and protecting and creating jobs for all."
Further to that, the leaders vowed to ensure fair access not just to vaccines, but also to tests and treatments.
"We will spare no effort to ensure their affordable and equitable access for all people," the statement said.
The summit did not, however, lead to direct financial commitments for to the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator and its vaccine initiative the COVAX Facility, despite the urgent call for funding that came just days ago from UN Secretary-General António Guterres.
Although countries have invested $10 billion already, Guterres said there is still a gap of more than $28 billion — with just over $4 million needed before the end of 2020.
Launched in April by seven global partners, the ACT-Accelerator is a unique coalition aimed at accelerating global efforts against the COVID-19 pandemic. Its partners are working together to develop tests, treatments, and vaccines as quickly as possible, while also building up the world’s most fragile health systems.
Global Citizens have taken more than 78,000 actions as a part of the campaign calling on world leaders to act together and support the health initiative.
I am issuing an SOS for the needs of developing countries.— UN Spokesperson (@UN_Spokesperson) November 20, 2020
I am calling on #G20 leaders to increase the financial resources available to the @IMFNews including through a new allocation of Special Drawing Rights and a voluntary
reallocation of unused Special Drawing Rights. pic.twitter.com/aTNJf30b8f
"There is a clear recognition from the G20: If we leave any country behind, we will all be behind," Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed al-Jadaan told the closing news conference, Reuters reported.
The hope is that with this commitment from the G20 nations, financial commitments will soon follow.
The G20 presidency will be handed over from Saudi Arabia to Italy in December, so it is especially important for Global Citizens to continue to call on leaders to work together to recover from the pandemic.
Scientists are backing an open letter to G20 leaders calling on them to act now, and the more people who back them up, the more likely it is that governments will act.