İrem UZUN -TDO- French President Emmanuel Macron has urged European countries and the U.S. to donate 3-5 per cent of their COVID vaccine supplies to developing nations, in order to curb Chinese and Russian influence. 

In an interview with the Financial Times, the French president suggested they are allowing the idea to take hold that hundreds of millions of vaccines are being given in rich countries and that they are not starting in poor countries. “It’s an unprecedented acceleration of global inequality and it’s politically unsustainable too because it’s paving the way for a war of influence over vaccines,” the president said, adding “You can see the Chinese strategy, you can see the Russian strategy too.”

"I say 'let's transfer 3-5 percent of the vaccines we have in stock to Africa'. This would have no impact on the rhythm of vaccine strategies. It won't delay it by a single day given the way we use our doses," he said.  "It’s in the interest of the French and the Europeans. Today I have more than 10 million of our fellow citizens who have families on the other side of the Mediterranean,” the president stressed.

World Health Organization officials welcomed Macron’s comments but also urged countries to go through proper channels when making donations. "One thing which doesn't help is when countries go on their own and provide directly to other countries," WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom said, suggesting it could undermine efforts to ensure worldwide distribution is equal as it would make allocation hazy.

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