BEIJING (REUTERS) - China's President Xi Jinping on Friday (May 21) pledged an additional US$3 billion (S$4 billion) in aid over the next three years to help developing countries recover from the coronavirus pandemic, and proposed setting up an international forum on vaccine cooperation.
The funds will go toward supporting the Covid-19 response and economic and social recovery, Mr Xi said in a speech at the Group of 20 Global Health Summit.
While developed countries are producing vaccines and rapidly inoculating their populations, poorer nations have complained about a lack of access, with the World Health Organisation warning of a "catastrophic moral failure".
"Today the problem of uneven vaccination has become more acute," Mr Xi said in a video address. "It is imperative for us to reject vaccine nationalism and make vaccines more accessible and affordable for developing countries."
China has already supplied 300 million vaccine doses to the rest of the world and will provide more to the best of its ability, he added.
Furthermore, Beijing supports the transfer of technologies from its vaccine companies to other developing countries and trying out joint production with them, Mr Xi said.
The forum on cooperation would be "for vaccine-developing and producing countries, companies and other stakeholders to explore ways of promoting fair and equitable distribution of vaccines around the world", Mr Xi said.
He called on major countries to take up the responsibility to provide more vaccines to developing nations in urgent need.