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MSF: Comment on the appointment of Matt Hancock as UN Special Representative to Africa

MSF: Comment on the appointment of Matt Hancock as UN Special Representative to Africa

Commenting on the announcement that former Health Secretary Matt Hancock has been appointed UN special envoy to help Covid recovery in Africa, Victorine de Milliano, UK Policy Advisor for the MSF Access Campaign, said:

“Under Matt Hancock’s lead as Health Secretary, the UK hoarded COVID-19 medical tools, failing to share the excess from its stockpile sufficiently with countries that urgently needed them. This has left many African nations, including several where MSF works, without access to vaccines and other crucial life-saving materials.

 MSF and many others repeatedly called on Mr Hancock and the UK government to support the TRIPS waiver and lift intellectual property barriers to enable the global production of COVID-19 diagnostics, vaccines, and treatments. These requests have consistently been rebuffed and the UK government has continued to block the production of these life-saving tools in low- and middle-income countries, including many in Africa. This approach has cost lives and will continue to do so.

We hope that Mr Hancock and the UK Government now realise the terrible harm this short-sighted policy has caused and will now back the TRIPS waiver to help ensure COVID-19 medical tools are available to all.”

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