G7 should pay lion’s share of costs to help end the pandemic

Credit: © James Ferguson

From Angela Merkel, Justin Trudeau and Erna Solberg

Financial Times, Letters
June 12 2021

Ahead of the G7 summit in Cornwall (
Opinion, June 8), world leaders have a choice: fight the coronavirus alone and potentially lose the battle, or fight together and win.

We support the Access to Covid-19 Tools Accelerator that brought together 10 global health organisations, in collaboration with country governments, civil society organisations and the private sector with the aim to develop and roll out tests, therapeutics and vaccinations globally in record time.

This partnership, known more widely as ACT-A, has mobilised over $16bn, and almost all countries have begun rolling out Covid-19 vaccination, testing and treatment programmes.

While all of this is very good news, there is so much more to be done.

The ACT-A still faces a critical financing gap of $16.8bn. 

We urgently need to fully finance ACT-A as the world’s best exit strategy from this pandemic, and that includes ensuring Covid-19 vaccines reach everyone — because we can’t end the pandemic in our own countries unless we end it everywhere.

ACT-A has developed a financing framework for national contributions that takes a country’s ability to pay into account — a clear way to split the bill. This financial burden-sharing model is now being used to urge all 89 high-income and upper-middle-income countries to contribute their share.

At this year’s global health summit, it was reported that so far four countries have met their benchmark shares as calculated by ACT-A. We call on all heads of governments to contribute their shares.


Burden share models like this imply that
the G7 countries would need to account for around 55 per cent of the total contribution,
and the G20 in total above 85 per cent.


The G20 leaders, in their Rome declaration at the recent global health summit, underlined the importance of addressing the ACT-A funding gap to help the partnership fulfil its mandate — in addition to further measures such as increasing global production and vaccine sharing.

The Covid-19 pandemic has taught us that the costs of prevention and early response are small compared to the consequences of under-investment.

We call upon all partners to contribute to fund pandemic preparedness and response in a spirit of solidarity by urgently closing the ACT-A financing gap and contributing in the longer run to strengthening the global health system. 

We need to establish predictable and sustainable collective financing for pandemic prevention and preparedness.


Angela Merkel
German Chancellor

Justin Trudeau
Canadian Prime Minister This is an amended version of the letter that appeared in the FT newspaper on June 10

Erna Solberg
Norwegian Prime Minister

Originally published at https://www.ft.com on June 10, 2021.

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