UN aims to boost health tech production for COVID-19

Anadolu Agency

UN aims to boost health tech production for COVID-19

UN Technology Bank announces Tech Access Partnership to scale up local production of health technologies

Note taken from AA | Gokhan Ergocun

ISTANBUL

The UN Technology Bank, with the UN Development Programme (UNDP), UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the World Health Organization (WHO), announced a program, named the Tech Access Partnership (TAP), on Tuesday to scale up local production of health technologies against the COVID-19.

The partnership aims to strengthen developing countries’ responses to COVID-19 and increase access to lifesaving health technologies, the UN Technology Bank, located in Turkey, said in a press release.

"As demand for personal protective equipment, medical devices and diagnostics increases exponentially amid the global pandemic, countries with limited resources are often unable to purchase or produce the tools they need to mount effective responses to COVID-19," it noted.

The TAP is expected to address critical shortages of essential health technologies and equipment by ensuring to share information, expertise and resources between producers.

Amina J. Mohammed, the deputy secretary-general of the UN, said the world needs community more than ever to ave lives and the future.

"Inequalities are exacerbating the technology and digital divide when it comes to opportunities for youth, creating a divide that threatens to leave them behind," she noted.

"The TAP will be led by the UN Technology Bank for Least Developed Countries, established in 2016 to assist governments with the development and adaptation of new technologies," the press release said.

The program, open to all developing countries, will also be supported by the UNDP, UNCTAD and WHO.

After originating in China last December, COVID-19 has spread to at least 187 countries and regions. Europe and the US are currently the worst-hit areas.

The pandemic has killed more than 287,100 people worldwide with over 4.2 million confirmed cases, while recoveries have surpassed 1.47 million.