The United Nations (UN) Deputy Secretary-General, Ms Amina Mohammed, on Monday said over one billion dollars (N376 billion) has so far been realised from contributions to the organisation’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) response plans.

Mohammed disclosed this during a virtual new conference from New York on the launch of two initiatives in support of the UN COVID-19 response efforts.

“As with all things, fundraising has become quite a challenge.

“In as much as we expect to have received so much more, what i would say is that the first steps have been really positive.

“We have had four, five countries step up to the fund on the socio-economic response, but also those that have put money forward for the humanitarian response and the health response.

“These three go together, and we have so far seen over a billion dollars in the response to all three of the emergencies,” she said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that there are currently three UN response plans to the COVID-19 pandemic, requiring an estimated 11.6 billion dollars (N4.3 trillion) in total.

First is the two-billion-dollar (N752 billion) global humanitarian response plan launched on March 25 to protect millions most at risk in the world’s most vulnerable countries.

Six days later, the UN launched a one-billion-dollar (N376 billion) COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund to tackle the health emergency and help countries recover from the socio-economic impact of the pandemic.

On Friday, the World Health Organisation (WHO) teamed up with some world leaders to launch an 8.6-billion-dollar (N3.2 trillion) initiative tagged Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator.

ACT Accelerator seeks to fast-track the development, production and equitable distribution of COVID-19 drugs, tests kits and vaccines around the world.

The deputy UN Chief said all hands were on deck to ensure the COVID-19 vaccine was developed as soon as possible and made available to everyone.

“The Secretary-General has called for this as a global public good and that is what we are working towards.

“There would be an announcement on May 4 by the European Commission where they are looking at the funding mechanism for that.

“So, I believe all hands are on deck, first and foremost, to see how we can develop this vaccine as soon as possible.

“But the production and its access to everyone would be in everyone’s mind, and the commitment we saw on Friday was to towards that.

“We are going to see that reinforced on May 4,with more leaders coming to the table on how we will finance this”, Mohammed said.(NAN)



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