This calls for all of the stakeholders to partner together in a way that is equally unprecedented: States, regional and international organisations, public and private stakeholders, academia, development banks and civil society.
THE STAGES OF GLOBAL COORDINATION
On 16 April 2020, France convened the leaders of the main global health organisations at international level (WHO, the Global Fund, Unitaid, Gavi, CEPI, the World Bank, the Medicines Patent Pool, etc.), along with Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, Chair of the Analysis, Research and Expert Committee, for a conference call aimed at strengthening global coordination around WHO and at building a multilateral initiative. The participants agreed on the need for a coordinated, comprehensive initiative, focusing on both efficiency and equity.
On 24 April, together with its European and international partners, WHO and global health stakeholders as a whole, France launched a global cooperation platform (ACT) with three aims:
- speed up the design and production of diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines;
- guarantee safe, equitable and universal access to these solutions;
- consolidate healthcare systems against Covid-19 and other diseases.
During an international conference on 4 May 2020, the European Commission launched a call for global contributions to shore up international action around these three aims.
France, which is co-sponsoring this conference, is rallying strongly around these various pillars and will be one of the leading contributors to ACT, stumping up €500m:
- to support WHO which the global community needs to address the emergency, by cementing its key role in terms of alerts, detection and coordination;
- to ramp up the pace of research and development on a vaccine which must be accessible to all, in partnership with CEPI and GAVI;
- to conduct essential work necessary for ensuring fair access to resources to eliminate Covid-19, particularly as regards patents, as UNITAID is doing;
- to consolidate support for the healthcare systems in the most vulnerable countries, particularly in conjunction with the Global Fund.
These multilateral efforts complement the €1.2bn Covid-19 – Health in Common bilateral response initiative spearheaded by the French Development Agency (AFD) to support hospital systems in Africa, regional epidemiological surveillance networks and all stakeholders actively involved on the ground against Covid-19 (NGOs, foundations, networks, research organisations, etc.). So far, nearly €43m in grants has already been unlocked for projects in connection with the operators (Institut Pasteur, French National Research Institute for Development/IRD) and NGOs.