A string of NGOs, including Oxfam, have called on the chair of the Government’s Covid-19 Inquiry to probe the impacts of UK pandemic policy on the global stage.
In a letter to chair Baroness Hallett today, the NGOs said: “Given the inquiry’s focus on the impact of the pandemic on inequalities, this should include how this has manifested globally and the UK’s role in exacerbating or mitigating these differences.”
Of particular interest is the impact of pre-purchasing high volumes of vaccines on global supply, as well as “the UK’s role in weakening the provisions of the Intellectual Property waiver”, they wrote.
Signatories also include Global Justice Now, Save the Children UK, People’s Vaccine Alliance, RESULTS UK, Just Treatment, Health Poverty Action, MSF UK and STOPAIDS.
Maaza Seyoum, Global South convenor at the People’s Vaccine Alliance, has called pledges to vaccinate the world from leaders of wealthy countries and pharmaceutical firms a “little more than rhetoric”.
“Today, rich countries – including the United Kingdom – are providing fourth vaccine doses while the vast majority of people in low-income countries have yet to receive even one dose.
“The UK Covid–19 Public Inquiry must consider how the Government’s policies and approaches shut out expertise from the Global South and allowed great disparity in access to health tools worldwide; allowing the threat of new variants to remain.”