A Call to Action to Canada’s Federal Party Leaders Ahead of Global COVID-19 Summit on Ending the Pandemic and Building Back Better

The Global COVID-19 Summit, on September 22, on the margins of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, will take place days after Canadians elect a new government.

CARE Canada urges all parties to work together now and make bold new commitments that will ensure the pandemic is defeated within the next twelve months, as a priority of the new government.

Canada’s membership in the G7 requires that you dramatically shift gears and demonstrate heightened leadership, ambition and coordination, so the international community leverages this opportunity.  At the COVID-19 Summit and immediately thereafter, we call on Canada to commit to fund and take other concrete actions that will ensure we achieve the following collective goals:

  • Vaccinate the world by mid-2022. This requires making 7 billion doses available before the end of 2021 and another 7 billion doses available by mid-2022. This will help ensure that every country is ready to implement equitable vaccination programs at scale by the end of this year, and set us up to vaccinate 70% of the world’s population by mid-2022.
  • Invest in last mile delivery.  CARE’s research shows that for that for every dollar (USD) spent on vaccine production, another five dollars (USD) must be spent on delivery. Investments close to $190 billion USD in last mile delivery to ensure all doses are administered into arms. Failure to do this risks up to $9.2 trillion USD in global economic damage in 2021 alone.
  • Build forward just and equitable health systems. COVID-19 has laid bare the reality that global health systems are not fit for purpose. Critically, we must fairly pay, protect and respect our frontline health workers. They are the backbone of healthcare systems the world over, the vast majority of whom are women, leading on the frontlines in their communities. Millions of them are unpaid, and yet they deliver essential routine services, conduct outreach and prepare their communities for vaccine readiness, and refer patients to clinics. Our health systems must be built forward by transforming them to be more robust, inclusive and resilient. Only then will we be prepared to respond to this pandemic, and prevent others.

Since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global public health emergency, the costs of the pandemic have been incalculable, yet shocking inequities persist. Wealthier countries are close to vaccinating the majority of their populations and to making booster shots available, while only 1.9% of people in low-income countries have received at least one dose. These stark inequities cannot continue. If we work together, and think in a truly global way, we can vaccinate everyone, save lives, and build just and equitable health systems. We call on Canada’s new government to work together now and commit to funding and taking these priority concrete actions immediately.

Yours sincerely,

Barbara Grantham

Barbara Grantham
President and CEO, CARE Canada