#AceHealthReport – Dec.01: In a speech via video link at the opening of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, Mr Xi said 600 million doses would be donations and 400 million doses would be provided through other means, such as joint production by Chinese companies and relevant African countries.
#CoronavirusNewsDesk says according to media news China’s Xi Jinping pledges another 1 billion #COVID19 vaccine doses for African nations: The country has already supplied nearly 200 million doses to Africa, where vaccination rates have fallen behind amid growing concern over the spread of the new Omicron variant of COVID-19, which was first identified in southern Africa.
“We must continue to fight together against COVID,” Mr Xi told the summit, adding that China would send about 1,500 medical workers to Africa.
“We must prioritise the protection of our people and close the vaccination gap.”
Beijing has donated millions of doses of its home-produced Sinopharm vaccine to African countries since the start of the pandemic.
Mr Xi said a China-Africa cross-border yuan centre would be set up to provide African financial institutions with a credit line of $US10 billion, without giving further details.
China will provide $US10 billion of trade finance to support African exports, create a zone for trade and economic cooperation and build a China-Africa industrial park, he said.
The announcement comes amid criticism of China’s infrastructure-for-commodities deals that some experts say saddle countries with unsustainable debt.
Democratic Republic of Congo is currently reviewing a $6 billion deal with Chinese investors over concerns that it is not sufficiently beneficial to Congo.
The Belt and Road Initiative — in which Chinese institutions finance major infrastructure in mainly developing nations — has slowed: Chinese bank financing for infrastructure projects in Africa fell from $US11 billion in 2017 to $US3.3 billion in 2020, according to a report by international law firm Baker McKenzie.
During a four-nation tour of the region last week, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that Washington was pushing for cleaner deals without unsustainable debts.African leaders slam bansSouth African President Cyril Ramaphosa is calling on countries to “immediately and urgently” reverse travel bans following the discovery of the new coronavirus variant Omicron.
China’s imports from Africa, one of its key sources of crude oil and minerals, will reach $US300 billion in the next three years, Mr Xi said, adding that the two sides would cooperate in areas such as health, digital innovation, trade promotion and green development.
South Africa’s President, Cyril Ramaphosa, also speaking via video link, thanked China for its support and said African economies should be able to manufacture COVID-19 vaccines.
Discussions at the World Trade Organization on a temporary TRIPS waiver to make COVID-19 vaccines and treatments available to allneeded to be finalised, he said, while criticising the travel curbs imposed on South Africa.
Travel bans have been imposed worldwide on people travelling from southern Africa after the World Health Organisation last week announced a new COVID-19 variant of concern, dubbed Omicron.
Lower vaccination rates linked to increased risk of variants emerging
For months now, experts have been warning of the risk that dangerous new variants pose for developing countries with lower vaccination rates.
More than a dozen nations across Africa and the Middle East, as well as Australia’s nearby neighbour Papua New Guinea, have vaccinated just 1 or 2 per cent of their populations.
The End COVID For All campaign, backed by leading health and charity groups, has called on the Australian government to prioritise sharing the vaccine to lower income countries to reduce the risk of variants emerging.
“More than 19 low-income countries have such low rates of vaccination, that on current rates they would not vaccinate 70 per cent of their populations until after 2030,” a report published by the group last month stated.
“Without rapid, widespread vaccination to slow mutation there is a significant risk that variants will not respond to existing vaccines or boosters.”
#AceHealthDesk report …………..Published: Dec.01: 2021:
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