Italian Premier Asks G20 For Vaccines For Poor Countries

ROME (AP) – Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi opened a conference of the world’s economic powers on Saturday with a strong call to speed up delivery of vaccines to poor countries, calling the huge gap in global vaccination against COVID. -19 “morally unacceptable”.

Draghi, the host of a Group of 20 summit in Rome, said Saturday that only 3% of people in the world’s poorest countries have been vaccinated, while 70% in rich countries have received at least one dose. .


The call for increased crowdfunding for low-income countries seemed like a summit-wide theme, in the face of a global economy recovering at different rates. Climate change, vaccines, recovery, international taxes, are topics that occupy the leaders in the first face-to-face summit since the start of the pandemic.

Draghi hosted the heads of state of the Group of 20 at the Nuvola convention center in the fascist-era EUR neighborhood, which was isolated from the rest of Rome. The first session of the summit focused on global health and the economy.

Rich countries have used vaccines and economic stimuli to resume economic activity, with the risk that developing countries that account for much of global growth will be left behind due to low vaccination rates and economic difficulties.

The leaders of the European Union will meet on the sidelines with their African counterparts in an attempt to strengthen the support of the poorest economies on the continent after the COVID-19 pandemic.

French President Emmanuel Macron told reporters on Friday that he expects the G20 to confirm an additional $ 100 billion to support African economies.

The funds are likely to be provided through the redistribution of part of the $ 650 billion in withdrawal rights, a foreign exchange tool used to help finance imports issued by the International Monetary Fund. The idea is that countries that do not need the support redistribute their special withdrawal rights to those who do. African Union President Felix Tshisekedi and Rwandan President Paul Kagame are expected to participate. The heads of state of South Africa and Senegal, Cyril Ramaphosa and Macky Sall, will join in videoconference, the French presidency said.

Italy expects the G20 to achieve key commitments from countries that account for 80% of the global economy – and are responsible for almost the same amount of global carbon dioxide emissions – before the United Nations Climate Change Conference that kicks off Sunday in Glasgow, Scotland.

Most of the heads of state and government who are in the Italian capital will head to Glasgow after the summit is over. The presidents of Russia and China, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping, respectively, will participate remotely.