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FRANCE: Emmanuel Macron proposes to set aside 3-5% of vaccine doses in Africa

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President Emmanuel Macron

The group of the seven most industrialized countries in the world (G7) is holding a virtual conference on Friday, February 19. The French President is taking the opportunity to offer rich countries to transfer 3-5% of their Covid-19 vaccine stocks to Africa. Macron spoke on Thursday in an interview with the British daily The Financial Times.

While denouncing the exorbitant prices at which vaccines are sold to African countries, Emmanuel Macron wants to propose to the G7 countries to reserve doses of vaccines to the African continent. “I say: ‘Let’s transfer 3% or 5% of the vaccines we have in stock today to Africa,’ he said, adding that: ‘This has no impact on the rate of vaccine strategy [in the countries concerned by this transfer]. It doesn’t slow it down by a day, given the use of our doses today.” This approach is, according to him, in the interest of European countries and especially of France, which has more than 10 million citizens who have relatives or relatives on the other side of the Mediterranean.

It is also a question of solidarity for the French President. “If we let the idea that hundreds of millions of vaccines are being made in rich countries and we don’t start in poor countries, it’s unsustainable,” he said. He believes it is rather an unprecedented acceleration of global inequalities. This is politically unsustainable in the long run because it is what makes it possible to set up a war of vaccine influence. And you can see the Chinese strategy, the Russian strategy too,” he said.

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Emmanuel Macron assures that France has already reserved 5% of its doses for Africa. It will be, he explains, either donations or low-cost sales, with the aim of bringing in as many European and non-European partners as possible. But if not everyone is on board, he warns, France will commit itself and give 5% of its doses. President Macron strongly hopes that the United States will show a greater commitment, including financial commitment in the Covax system to ensure equitable distribution of vaccines.

Russia and China are also involved. “The Chinese often recall their adherence to multilateralism, they have the opportunity with Covax to prove it, rather than a bilateral approach with a logic of vaccine diplomacy, or even clientelism,” he says.

       

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