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UN to boost health tech production for Covid-19

UNITED NATIONS, May 15, 2020

The United Nations Technology Bank has launched the Tech Access Partnership (TAP) as part of a coordinated approach to strengthen developing countries’ responses to Covid-19 and increase access to lifesaving health technologies.

Launched together with the UN Development Programme (UNDP), UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the World Health Organization (WHO), TAP aims to address critical shortages of essential health technologies and equipment by connecting manufacturers with critical expertise and emerging manufacturers in developing countries to share the information, technical expertise and resources necessary to scale up production of these tools.

The partnership will also support countries to develop affordable technologies and equipment that meet quality and safety standards.

“Now, more than ever, the global community needs to unite to save lives and secure sustainable futures.  Inequalities are exacerbating the technology and digital divide when it comes to opportunities for youth, creating a divide that threatens to leave them behind,” said Amina J Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the UN.

“Increasing access to necessary technologies through partnerships is a crucial component of the United Nations’ Covid-19 health, humanitarian and socio-economic response.”

“Without access to lifesaving technologies, many developing countries are unprepared for the potentially devastating impact of Covid-19,” said Joshua Setipa, Managing Director, UN Technology Bank. “By enabling developing countries to produce these technologies themselves, we can help set them on the path to recovery.”

TAP’s key functions will include:

•    Product Information – a digital warehouse of manufacturing and design specifications, technical knowledge and information required to increase capacity.

•    Technical Guidance – a lifeline of technical support to help manufacturers troubleshoot issues they may encounter as they seek to ramp up production, including information on market dynamics and regulatory hurdles.

•    Partnerships – a platform to match companies based on expertise, needs and capacity.

“Covid-19 has shown us that a disease outbreak anywhere is a threat everywhere. We must stand together to support all countries and ensure equitable access to lifesaving technologies,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the WHO. “Scaling up access to medicines and health technologies in these countries is essential to slow new infections and avoid unnecessary deaths.”

TAP will also collaborate with other relevant initiatives to ensure Covid-19 response efforts are coordinated and complementary. The partnership is centred in the UN Development System’s overall approach to counter the socio-economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, which includes scaling up global capacity for testing and treatment, providing social protections for the most vulnerable and making countries resilient to future pandemics. – TradeArabia News Service
 




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