The leaders of the 20 biggest economies in the world (G20) said on Sunday they will "spare no effort" to ensure the fair distribution of vaccines against the coronavirus worldwide, and support poor countries whose economies have been hit by the reprecussions of the COVID-19 pandemic.
After a virtual summit hosted by Saudi Arabia, the G20 leaders said in the final communique: "We have mobilised resources to address the immediate financing needs in global health to support the research, development, manufacturing and distribution of safe and effective COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines."
They said they supported a global project for vaccines, tests and therapeutics, called the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A) initiative and its COVAX facility.
The COVID-19 virus has infected over 57.7 million people and claimed the lives of more than 1.38 million. And tens of thousands more deaths are feared in the coming months, with the onset of cold weather and the holidays.
"The COVID-19 pandemic and its unprecedented impact in terms of lives lost, livelihoods and economies affected, is an unparalleled shock that has revealed vulnerabilities in our preparedness and response and underscored our common challenges," the declaration stated.
G20 countries will work to "protect lives, provide support with a special focus on the most vulnerable, and put our economies back on a path to restoring growth, and protecting and creating jobs for all."
Regarding coronavirus vaccines, tests and treatments, the leaders said: "We will spare no effort to ensure their affordable and equitable access for all people."