Christian Aid says the UK and G20 countries are not doing enough to fight the covid-19 pandemic around the world. The charity - along with the People's Vaccine Alliance - has unveiled new analysis ranking rich countries' efforts to support the global rollout of covid-19 vaccines.
It shows that the UK has fallen to 19th out of G20 nations in its support for global efforts to combat covid-19, the worst-ranking high-income country. Only India is below the UK.
South Africa is the G20 country with the best record in promoting global vaccine equity, while Indonesia comes in second. Both countries have supported efforts to bolster vaccine, tests, and treatment manufacturing in low and middle-income countries.
Based on research by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), the index ranks G20 countries in three areas: global vaccine financing, national procurement and distribution, and support for trade and manufacturing policy reforms.
However, Christian Aid says all G20 countries are falling far short of what they could be doing to promote global vaccine equity. It says most are only doing around half as much as a good 'global citizen' approach to global vaccine equity would be, after rich countries hoarded vaccine doses, upheld pharmaceutical companies' monopoly on supply, and disrupted efforts to improve vaccine manufacturing in the global south.
Oliver Pearce, Chief of Policy at Christian Aid, said:
"The richest countries have a responsibility to improve global access to COVID-19 vaccines, tests and treatments, given their wealth and high vaccination rates. Governments financed research and development of these products and should not leave pharmaceutical companies to monopolise supply and price. But, amid a collision of international crises, the UK is turning its back on the world and undermining efforts to produce more vaccines, tests, and treatments in lower-income countries. By holding back the global pandemic response, the UK is haemorrhaging moral authority amongst international partners."
Only one in three people in African countries have completed an initial course of covid-19 vaccinations, and under 1 in 4 in low-income countries worldwide.