On 24 April, the World Health Organization announced a multi-stakeholder initiative called the “Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator, or the ACT Accelerator”. The ACT Accelerator describes itself as “a collaboration to accelerate the development, production and equitable global access to new COVID-19 essential health technologies”. It is “grounded in a vision of a planet protected from human suffering and the devastating social and economic consequences of COVID-19”.
The multi-stakeholder initiative was launched in Geneva by WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus along with French President Emmanuel Macron, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF). It gathers together an identified “group of global health actors” including, along with BMGF, the Coalition for Epic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), GAVI-the Vaccine Alliance, the Global Fund for Sustainable Development Data, UNITAID, the Wellcome Trust, WHO and the World Bank along with “private sector partners and other stakeholders”.
Thomas Cueni, Director-General of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers, a private sector partner to the initiative, highlighted this multi-stakeholder dimension, noting: “Today, scientists in the public and private sector hold the keys to our common goal: the swift end of the COVID-19 pandemic”.