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U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has kicked off an appeal to other countries to help inject $2 billion more to the U.N.-backed program to ship coronavirus vaccines to the world’s poorest countries.
 
The United States is co-hosting a pledging and donor conference Thursday, bringing together four Presidents, three Prime Ministers and other dignitaries to help buttress the $6.3 billion already raised for the U.N.-backed COVAX program.
 
Blinken laid out a goal to raise COVAX’s target of vaccinating 20 per cent of populations in the affected countries to 30 per cent, with the addition of $2 billion in funds. The COVAX effort has been providing millions of vaccine doses to 92 of the world’s poorest countries.
 
Donors were expected to chip in either funds - Prime Minister Stefan Lofven announced Sweden was increasing its contribution to COVAX from $20 million to $280 million - or announce plans to share doses with the low-and middle-income countries.
 
Blinken highlighted the Biden administration’s contribution of $2 billion to COVAX in March and its plans to add another $2 billion through 2022.


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