UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday called on developed countries to show solidarity with Africa in the fight against COVID-19.
"To end the pandemic, support economic recovery and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, we need to ensure equitable and universal access to COVID-19 vaccines," he said in a message for Africa Day, which falls on May 25.
Currently, there is a profound imbalance in vaccine distribution among countries. The latest figures show that to date, African countries have received just 2 percent of vaccines, he noted. "On this Africa Day, I renew my call to developed nations to stand in solidarity with Africa."
COVID-19 has triggered a global recession that has exposed deep-seated inequalities and vulnerabilities. It is endangering hard-won development gains throughout Africa and beyond, he said.
The pandemic has also heightened the drivers of conflict by increasing inequalities and revealing the fragility of governance in many nations, particularly in the delivery of basic services such as health care, education, electricity, water and sanitation. The impact of the pandemic has also been exacerbated by the climate crisis, which disproportionately affects developing nations, said Guterres.