Feb. 9, 2022

WHO Director-General's remarks at the ACT Accelerator Advocacy Event – 9 February 2022

Your Excellency Jonas Gahr Støre,

Secretary-General António Guterres,

Excellencies, dear colleagues and friends,

Good morning, good afternoon and good evening.

Depending on where you live, it might feel like the COVID-19 pandemic is almost over – or it might feel like it’s at its worst.

But wherever you live, COVID isn’t finished with us.

Diseases know no borders, and as we all know from Omicron, any feeling of safety can change in a moment.

We know this virus will continue to evolve.

But we are not defenseless. We have the tools to prevent this disease, to test for it, and to treat it.

Where people have access to those tools, this virus can be brought under control.

Where they don’t, this virus continues to spread, to evolve, and to kill.

The biggest barrier we face to ending the pandemic as a global health emergency is ensuring all people, in every country, have access to those tools.

The ACT Accelerator is vital for this mission.

As outlined in the Financing Framework we are launching today, the ACT Accelerator requires 23 billion US dollars to save lives, address the threat of Omicron and prevent even more dangerous variants emerging.

That includes an urgent financing gap of 16 billion dollars for the ACT Accelerator itself, with the remaining 6.5 billion dollars to be self-financed by middle-income countries, supported by multilateral development banks.

We call on all higher-income countries to play their part in fully funding the ACT Accelerator, and ending the pandemic as a global health emergency.

The Financing Framework sets out ‘fair share’ targets, based on countries’ gross domestic product, income per capita, and other factors.

We are grateful to all donors to the ACT Accelerator, especially those who exceeded their fair-share contribution.

The funds we need are significant, but significantly less than the monthly economic costs of the pandemic.

We have a plan. We have the tools. We have hope.

Now we need the resources to execute the plan everywhere, make the tools available everywhere, and make hope a reality - everywhere.