Norway, South Africa host meeting on Covid-19

Norway and South Africa on Friday co-hosted a high-level meeting between G20 and OECD finance ministries on how to collectively resolve the global economic crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, and how to mobilize the financial resources needed to succeed.

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni of South-Africa and Finance Minister Jan Tore Sanner of Norway co-chaired the meeting.

The Access to Covid-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator has been set up to develop, procure and promote equitable access to Covid-19 tests, treatments, vaccines and the health systems that support them world-wide. It brings together the world’s leading public health organisations around a common purpose – to end the acute phase of the pandemic.

A new study commissioned by the ICC Research Foundation has found that the global economy stands to lose as much as $9.2 trillion in the absence of a multilateral coordinated response. Half of this would fall on advanced economies.

“The ACT-A collaboration will play a decisive role to this end. In a globalised world where economic drag in one country has consequences for others, the job is not done before the virus is under control globally”, said Norway’s Minister of Finance, Jan Tore Sanner.

The aim of the meeting was to raise awareness, to share advise on possible avenues to contribute, and to agree on principles for funding and equitable distribution of Covid-19 tools globally. As we see the pandemic pivots with the emergent of new, dangerous variants and over 100 million cases worldwide, the sense of urgency is high.

“I am happy that the discussion showed that there is extensive agreement among finance ministers that cooperation on development, supply and distribution of tests, medical treatments and vaccines is pivotal – not only for people’s health – but also for putting an end to the global economic crisis. Investing in global control of Covid-19 is probably the best economic stimulus we all can give our own economies”, said Finance Minister Tito Mboweni of South-Africa.

ACT-Accelerator funding commitments total US$ 6.0 billion with an additional 4 billion US$ in projected funding. The ACT-Accelerator faces a US$ 27.2 billion funding gap which will be reduced to US$ 23.2 billion as projected funds are operationalized.

G20 has identified ACT-A as an important investment opportunity in the response to Covid-19. How to strengthen the global collaboration on controlling the pandemic will be further elaborated by the G20, G7 and other important groups.

Norwegian Government