Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo vowed to step up Belgium’s efforts to make vaccines available to the world, “not just in high-income countries.”
“We have to overcome this pandemic together with one overarching objective: to leave no one behind,” the Belgian premier said during the launch of Recovery Plan for the World, a campaign to end Covid-19 and kickstart a global recovery.
Belgium is one of 23 governments that have pledged their commitment to the new global recovery plan initiated by Global Citizen together with the World Health Organization and the European Commission.
In support of the campaign, the Belgian prime minister guaranteed additional assistance for the Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) initiative. “If we want to recover better together, we need to assure everybody is safe.”
The Recovery Plan for the World is a year-long campaign with five goals: 1) to end Covid-19 for all; 2) end the hunger crisis; 3) resume learning everywhere; 4) protect the planet; and 5) advance equity for all.
“Vaccines must reach all corners of the planet, as soon as possible. In fact, Europe is the continent that exports the most vaccines to the rest of the world. We try to walk the talk. But everybody needs to chip in,” European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen said in her message.
At present, 116 countries and territories affected by the pandemic still have no access to vaccines.
“For whatever the challenges, we must never forget that the pandemic can only be beaten for good if vaccines, tests, and medicines are affordable and accessible and available to everyone in the world,” said German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The grand launch of the Recovery Plan for the World yesterday featured various leaders and personalities including WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed, Global Citizen Ambassador Hugh Jackman, and singer/songwriter Billie Eilish.