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Coronavirus – Africa Minister Gould speaks with head of WHO

The Honourable Karina Gould, Minister of International Development, today spoke with Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO).

Minister Gould began the conversation by convening Canada’s appreciation for the WHO’s leadership in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the call, they agreed that a global crisis like this has the potential to exacerbate inequalities and reverse development gains. In particular, it may have devastating health outcomes for the world’s most marginalized populations. They stressed the importance of working with developing-country partners to strengthen health systems to enhance resilience going forward. In particular, they agreed on the importance of focusing on primary health-care systems as communities recover after the pandemic.

Minister Gould and Dr. Tedros also discussed the critical need for a post-crisis after-action review that will be important to provide insights and learning to both member states and the WHO and support improvements to response and preparedness efforts in the future. Dr. Tedros affirmed the WHO’s commitment to full transparency and accountability.

In conclusion, Minister Gould reiterated Canada’s unwavering commitment to combat the pandemic, which includes supporting the WHO’s critical role in maintaining supply chains of essential goods, notably medical supplies.

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Canada is particularly concerned about the challenges faced by small island developing states and sub-Saharan Africa.

Minister Gould and Dr. Tedros agreed to remain in close contact with one another as the global pandemic continues to evolve.

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