Mon, 01 Mar 2021

© Provided by Xinhua | A merchant closes his liquor store in Johannesburg, South Africa, Dec. 29, 2020. (Xinhua/Yeshiel)

As extreme poverty was predicted to rise due to the coronavirus devastation, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa called on the world to unite in tackling all these problems.

JOHANNESBURG, Jan. 27 (Xinhua) -- As extreme poverty was predicted to rise due to the coronavirus devastation, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa called on the world to unite in tackling all these problems.

"We are facing a common threat and must act together. It is only through multilateral action that the world can solve its challenges," he said when addressing a virtual World Economic Forum in Davos on Tuesday.

Ramaphosa said while the pandemic has exacerbated poverty, inequality, and famine, all these challenges could be reduced.

"Our task is therefore not to restore the world to where it was when this pandemic struck, but to forge a new path towards a world that is just, peaceful, cohesive, resilient and sustainable."

Ramaphosa said the pandemic which has claimed over two million lives across the globe had shown that cooperation was crucial in solving global issues.

"The pandemic has underscored the vital importance of multilateral institutions in facilitating coordination, cooperation and common responses," he noted.

He said plans for the African Union to secure vaccine for countries within the continent were underway.

"To date, the Task Team has secured a provisional 270 million doses for African countries directly through vaccine manufacturers. This is in addition to the 600 million doses that are expected from the COVAX initiative," he said.

However, he expressed concern about what he termed "vaccine nationalism" which he said might hamper recovery efforts.

"The rich countries of the world went out and acquired large doses of vaccines from the manufacturers and developers of these vaccines. And some countries went even beyond and acquired up to four times what their populations need," Ramaphosa said. "Through its participation in these continental and global initiatives, South Africa continues to promote the need for universal, fair and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines."

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