Switzerland wants Covid-19 treatments to be accessible for all

Charity group Oxfam warns that a recession caused by Covid-19 could push an extra half a billion people into poverty - 8 percent of the world's population. Keystone

Swiss President Simonetta Sommaruga says every country in the world should have access to diagnostic tools, medicine and – once available – a vaccine to counter the coronavirus.

This content was published on May 4, 2020 - 18:59

Sommaruga outlined Switzerland’s position on Monday during a virtual donor conference organised by the European Union.

In her video address, the Swiss leader stated that solidarity must go beyond addressing the health needs generated by the Covid-19 crisis. Keystone-SDA news agency quoted her as saying that "it is not enough to save part of humanity from the pandemic and then let it die of hunger and poverty."

Switzerland, she noted, has already allocated CHF400 million ($415 million) to support international efforts to tackle Covid-19.

Another CHF18 million have been granted to the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Oslo-based Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to accelerate the search for medicines.

Switzerland will decide on additional funding in the coming weeks.

Calls for more aid

Separately, about thirty humanitarian associations urged the Swiss government to boost efforts to combat the pandemic and its socio-economic consequences, especially in the poorest countries.

They called on Bern to allocated 0.7% of gross domestic product (GDP) to development aid, instead of the current 0.5%.


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