PARIS – France will double the number of doses of vaccines it will send to the poorest countries to 120 million, President Emmanuel Macron promised on Saturday, in a video broadcast during the Global Citizen concert in Paris.
“The injustice is that in other continents, obviously, vaccination is very late,” he said. “We have to go faster, stronger.
“France is committed to doubling the number of doses it administers,” he added. “We will go from 60 million to 120 million doses offered. “
This was more than the doses administered so far in France, he said.
On Wednesday, the United States announced it would double its donation of vaccine doses, bringing its total contribution to 1.1 billion.
President Joe Biden described the pandemic as a “crisis at all levels”, adding “we need other high income countries to achieve their own ambitions”.
The European Union has pledged to distribute 500 million doses.
And Chinese President Xi Jinping, in a video message released Tuesday to the UN, promised a total of two billion doses by the end of the year, using a figure already advanced by the Chinese authorities.
It was not specified how many of them would be sold and how many donated.
More money for Africa: Macron
In his statement, Macron also said France will work with the United Nations children’s organization, UNICEF, in their efforts to help African countries organize their immunization rollout.
France would also redirect 20% of the special financing it received from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) towards projects designed to revive the economies of African countries, Macron said.
“If all the great powers do like France, we will reach 100 billion dollars for Africa,” he added.
Finally, Macron promised that France would spend 330 million euros to promote education in France.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, head of the World Health Organization, has repeatedly denounced the injustice of the massive imbalance in the distribution of vaccine doses in rich and poor countries.
“I will not remain silent when the companies and countries that control the global vaccine supply think the world’s poor should be content with leftovers,” he said earlier this month.
African leaders pleaded for the ability to purchase vaccine doses for their people at an African Union meeting earlier this month.
According to an AFP tally from official sources, the 53 African countries, with a population of over 1.3 billion, have received a total of 10 doses of vaccine per 100 people.
In contrast, the United States and Canada, with populations of just over 368 million, received 120 doses per 100 people.
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