Grandstand. As the wealthiest countries on the planet throw all their might into the battle against Covid-19, the epidemic in turn threatens Africa and the world’s vulnerable, from the favelas of Rio to the suburbs of New Delhi. The excluded from around the world are exposed to the pandemic without being able to protect themselves from it. Confinement is impossible for those who have to go out to survive and the poor living conditions (water, sanitation, etc.), the structural weakness of health systems, the blatant lack of basic equipment are all vulnerabilities that the mobilization of governments will not be enough. not to stem. Not to mention that we will always die in these countries from the ravages of other diseases, which are more difficult to combat in these times of crisis.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has sounded the alarm. At a time when the world is engaged in a race against the clock which absorbs the resources and energies of the richest states, we cannot forget the vulnerable populations of the planet.
The duty of solidarity is first of all moral. It is all of humanity that is struck today, and as our prosperous societies rediscover the power of caring for others, abandoning the most vulnerable would be a mistake. But this moral duty is also of our interest: faced with a pandemic, only a global response can be lastingly effective. Otherwise, we would take the risk of future rebounds of the disease and witness new exoduses.
The idea that only a global response would overcome pandemics led, twenty years ago, to AIDS, to the creation of new organizations. They immediately mobilized in response to the emergence of Covid-19: the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) intensified its campaigns; the Global Fund to Fight AIDS allows countries to use 5% of its grants ($ 14 billion over the next three years) to better protect vulnerable communities; Unitaid, which funds innovative projects promoting equitable access to health, invests in diagnostics, treatments and triage tools for respiratory diseases.
But we must go further. Classic, essential help will not be enough. Initiatives arise, all useful. We need to prepare for the time when treatments and vaccines are available. These treatments and vaccines will still have to be accessible to everyone, everywhere and at the same time.