COVID-19: ‘No one is safe until everyone else is safe’ 

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On Friday, Development Committee MEPs discussed COVID-19 impact in developing countries with the WHO, calling for strong solidarity and an efficient response.

Dr Michael Ryan, Executive Director, World Health Organization's Health Emergencies Programme, stressed that the coronavirus pandemic remains dynamic with sustained transmission in many developing countries, posing a threat to marginalized groups and closed communities in special situations without access to basic sanitation and decent accommodation.

He highlighted the global nature of the pandemic, and therefore the need to work in solidarity both within the EU, and outside in support of partners stressing that ‘no one is safe until everyone else is safe’. Dr Ryan applauded the EU’s financial contribution in responding to the COVID-19 crisis, and underlined the importance of continued EU global leadership in fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

According to Dr Ryan, delivering vaccines at scale and making sure that people are willing to take the vaccines are essential elements in containing the disease. He stressed that the WHO is not only ensuring the availability of knowledge but also countering misinformation on all of its platforms.

Tomas Tobé (EPP, SE), Chair of the Development Committee said: "Multilateral cooperation is indispensable in protecting the most vulnerable. The unprecedented global threats arising from COVID-19 call for strong and coordinated measures in response, with the WHO and from all actors involved in development cooperation and humanitarian aid. Now we need to bolster global preparedness and to guarantee equitable access to coronavirus vaccines and treatment."

MEPs have pointed out the need for strong leadership and for an action-oriented response. The aim must be for donors to reach the most vulnerable on the ground and to support the strengthening of health systems in fragile countries. It is also crucial to ensure that developing countries are associated in the research and production of treatments and vaccines.

Development Committee intends to continue monitoring the efforts of the international community in delivering these commitments of solidarity and global efficient action.