Canada Announces New COVID-19 Aid Package For Developing Nations

(AFP) — Canada on Monday announced a Can$458 million (US$380 million) aid package to help developing countries fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Of that amount, Can$230 million will go to the UN children’s agency UNICEF to buy approximately three million treatments based on new therapeutic antibodies, once clinical trials are complete and approvals received, according to international development minister Karina Gould.

“The faster we can get tests, treatments and vaccines out to people, the sooner this pandemic can be contained,” Gould said during a press conference.

Ottawa will also invest an additional Can$255 million to support the World Health Organization’s plan to distribute vaccines and therapeutic products, particularly in Latin America and the Caribbean, she said.

The program, called the ACT-Accelerator, could seek to ensure equitable global distribution of vaccines and other eventual treatments.

But the program requires an immediate US$4.3 billion, according to the WHO, and the funds received are falling short.

This latest package brings Canada’s current contributions to fighting the pandemic in developing nations to a total of Can$865 million.