The World Health Organization (WHO) Thursday launched its 2021 COVID-19 Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan (SPRP) designed to help all nations fight the pandemic and is seeking nearly $2 billion in donations to fund it.
This is the second such initiative, coming just over a year after the first one was announced.
At a news conference in Geneva, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the 2020 strategic plan raised $1.58 billion from WHO members and other donors.
Tedros said those funds were allocated to nations and regions throughout the world, helping those at the front lines of the pandemic.
He said this year’s COVID-19 SPRP will have six objectives: suppressing transmission of the virus, reducing exposure, countering COVID-19 misinformation and disinformation, protect the vulnerable, reduce death and illness, and accelerate equitable access to new tools to fight the virus — including vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics.
The WHO chief said the agency needs to raise $1.96 billion to meet those objectives. He said most of that funding — $1.2 billion — would go into WHO’s Access to COVID –19 Tools (ACT) accelerator program, designed to equitably distribute medicines, treatments and technology to all nations.
Tedros urged donors to contribute, saying it was more than just charity.
“Fully funding the SPRP is not just an investment in responding to COVID-19, it’s an investment in the global recovery and in building the architecture to prepare for, prevent and mitigate future health emergencies,” he said. COVID-19 is the disease caused by the coronavirus.