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G20 Summit Urges Support for COVID-19 Vaccines and Extends Debt Service Suspension

Nov. 23, 2020 (EIRNS)—The Leaders’ Declaration final statement of the G20 Summit calls for the COVID-19 vaccines to be available for all. The statement said the virus “revealed vulnerabilities in our preparedness and response and underscored our common challenges,” and vowed “to spare no effort to protect lives.... We will spare no effort to ensure their affordable and equitable access for all people, consistent with members’ commitments to incentivize innovation,” the statement said. The statement also expressed support for efforts like COVAX, the international initiative to distribute COVID-19 vaccines to countries worldwide. The United States has not joined this.

The G20 statement did not directly address an urgent appeal by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who said $28 billion in additional investment is needed for mass manufacturing, procurement and delivery of new COVID-19 vaccines around the world, including $4 billion immediately.

The signers also extended the Debt Service Suspension Initiative until June 2021. “We are committed to implementing the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) including its extension through June 2021, allowing DSSI-eligible countries to suspend official bilateral debt service payments,” the document says. The Group of 20 adopted the Debt Service Suspension Initiative in April. “As of 13 November 2020, 46 countries have requested to benefit from the DSSI, amounting to an estimated $5.7 billion of 2020 debt service deferral,” the declaration says.

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