Ramaphosa urges nations to stop 'hoarding' COVID-19 vaccines

President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered a virtual State of the World Address to the World Economic Forum Davos Dialogues. Courtesy of #DStv403

JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered a virtual State of the World Address to the World Economic Forum Davos Dialogues on Tuesday.

Ramaphosa shared the outlook for South Africa's economic recovery amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and discussed the African Union’s achievements as its outgoing Chairperson, particularly its regional management of the pandemic.

Ramaphosa said the virus has deepened inequality. 

READ: COVID condemns billions to poverty for a decade: Oxfam

"We must forge a new path and a new design to a world that is just, peaceful, cohesive, resilient and sustainable."

He said the pandemic has underscored the importance of multilateral institutions, working together and facilitating common responses to challenges.

The AU Chairperson said the next common global action should be to address climate change and he encouraged countries to honour their commitments under the Paris Agreement.

Ramaphosa spoke of collective action taken by the African Union and highlighted the establishment of the Africa Medical Supplies Platform.

READ: COVID-19: Is the vaccine really on its way?

The AU has also established the COVID-19 African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT). AVATT has secured a provisional 270 million COVID-19 vaccine doses.

Ramaphosa said South Africa's focus has shifted to rebuilding the economy.

He raised concerns over "vaccine nationalism".

The president explained some of the world’s richer countries acquired more doses of vaccine than they require to the exclusion of poorer countries. He made an impassioned plea to them to release excess vaccine doses to those that need them.

"We are saying release the excess vaccines that you have hoarded. Make them available so that countries who don’t have them can have them."

Source
eNCA

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