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Advancing an equitable G20 health response to Covid-19

Time (GMT +01) 12:00 13:30
Hero image description: Covid-19 testing in Madagascar Image credit:World Bank/Henitsoa Rafalia Image license:CC BY-NC-ND
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Vaccine inequity presents a formidable challenge to confronting Covid-19. The actions of richer countries have been singled out for policies and actions that advance their own narrowly conceived domestic short-term interests at the expense of people living in poorer countries and the global public good.

The World Health Organization goal of vaccinating 70% of people in all countries by mid-2022 is unlikely to be achieved, despite G20 leaders’ expressed support for this strategy. The concern is that inequalities in the distribution of vaccines will continue to be replicated even once therapeutics become more widely available. Ending the pandemic will require global collective action, whereby each country contributes its fair share to ensure an equitable public health response.

Working with Christian Aid, ODI has explored the monitoring of G20 country policy responses to the global scarcity of Covid vaccines, testing and therapeutics.

Building on this research, this event brought together global experts and senior officials to discuss the commitments of the G20 and its members to Covid-19 health response financing, vaccine delivery, intellectual property and the free trade of medical goods. It highlighted their respective contributions in each of these areas, and, where they fall short, discussing the roots of the inequitable response to date.

The panel discussed the broader structural constraints shaping the production and distribution of vaccines, therapeutics and tests, and identify innovative and practical ways that G20 members can act collectively to respond more effectively and equitably to the continuing global crisis.


  • Francesca Bastagli

    (Chair) Director of Equity and Social Policy, ODI.

  • Rt Rev John Sentamu

    Member of the House of Lords and chair of Christian Aid trustees

  • Emma Samman

    Research Associate, ODI

  • Agnes Soucat

    Director Health and Social Protection, Agence Française de Développement.

  • Olive Shisana

    Chief Executive Officer, Human Sciences Research Council, HSRC, South Africa.

  • Rob Yates

    Executive Director, Centre for Universal Health, Chatham House.

  • Kevin Watkins

    Visiting Professor of Development Practice at London School of Economics and Ex-Chief Executive of Save the Children UK.