Prime Minister announces a fair share investment in the ACT-Accelerator

By: Results Canada Published: 12/05/2022

On May 12, Canada acknowledged the hard truth that the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over by reaffirming its commitment to the global pandemic response at the second Global COVID-19 Summit co-hosted by the United States, Belize, Germany, Indonesia, and Senegal.  Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced an investment of CAD$732 million in the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A) to support low- and middle-income countries to deliver the tools needed to fight the pandemic. Canada to date has committed a total of more than CAD$2 billion to the ACT-A, the only global partnership working to end the acute phase of the pandemic by equitably deploying the tests, treatments, and vaccines the world needs.

Canada: a champion of the ACT-Accelerator
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Results Canada volunteers have been calling on Canada to do its part to #EndCovidEverywhere by investing in the ACT-A. At a time when sub-variants of COVID-19 continue to drive a surge in cases and just over 16% of people in low-income countries have received a vaccine, by committing these dollars, Canada has shown that our leaders recognize this global crisis requires global solutions. We can be proud that Canada understands its key role to play in funding the ACT-A. For the previous 2020-21 ACT-A budget, Canada was among only five other countries (Germany, Kuwait, Norway, Saudi Arabia and Sweden) that met or exceeded their "fair share" commitments.

This new investment in the ACT-A budget for October 2021 to September 2022 – originally allocated in Canada’s Federal 2022 Budget – makes Canada a champion by recommitting its fair share once again. Of the CAD$732 million announced, CAD$220 million was assigned to the COVAX Facility, the vaccine pillar of the ACT-A, on April 8. To date, Canada has invested USD$788 million in the vaccine pillar and, by comparison, only USD$79 million in the health systems strengthening pillar. Of the total CAD$732 million recommitted today, CAD$512 million remains unallocated to specific pillars or partners of the ACT-A.

continuing an effective COVID-19 response
While Canada has shown leadership and invested to ensure equitable access to vaccines to end the acute phase of the pandemic, vaccination alone will not be enough to end the pandemic. Leaders must support the full suite of COVID-19 countermeasures, including building health systems to reduce the spread of the virus plus prepare for future pandemics. A sizeable portion of this new investment should be targeted by Canada to partners like Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria who are working to not only strengthen health systems but also roll out tests and treatments.

With every month of delay in the COVID-19 response, the global economy stands to lose almost four times the required investment needed to fund the ACT-A 12-month budget fully. Two-thirds of this economic toll will be borne by high-income countries including Canada. To build #TheWorldWeNeed and to prepare for future pandemics, it is critical for Canada to rapidly translate its commitments into timely, coordinated, measurable, and accountable action and to place the interest of people over profits. In addition to rapidly allocating these new resources to ACT-A partners, Canada should also explicitly embrace the temporary removal of the World Trade Organization (WTO)-protected and enforced intellectual property rights on all COVID-19 tools.

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