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Foreign minister says vaccine hoarding will lengthen pandemic

South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha (Yonhap)
South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha (Yonhap)
Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said Friday that the hoarding of vaccines by a few countries would only undermine the public interest and lengthen the pandemic.

“It is especially important to keep a distance from ‘vaccine nationalism’ and guarantee fair provision of vaccines to everyone at affordable costs,” Kang said during a congratulatory speech at a sustainable development forum hosted by Yonsei University.

“We need to invest in bolstering the national health system, and guarantee everyone equal access to COVID-19 tests, treatment and vaccines.”

She explained that Korea had helped 120 countries respond to the pandemic through its official development assistance program and is taking part in the COVAX Facility, a vaccine-sharing program to assist poorer countries.

Korea has announced that it will donate $10 million to the COVAX Facility.

The forum, called “3Ps Beyond Security: Peace, Prosperity and Partnership,” looked at the global crisis caused by the pandemic and international cooperation to overcome it.

Kang also mentioned that COVID-19 had raised awareness of climate change. She discussed Seoul’s efforts to deal with climate change, such as the “2050 carbon neutrality” and “Green New Deal” projects.

By Kim So-hyun (