International aid vital to beating COVID-19 in Canada: expert
TORONTO -- Canada has pledged hundreds of millions of dollars to the global fight against COVID-19, an investment that experts say is vital in helping bolster the value of the domestic response to the virus.
From bilateral aid and multilateral funding provided to the World Health Organization (WHO) and other agencies, to funds for the research and development of vaccines and treatments for the deadly respiratory virus, the international aid aims to strengthen the global response to the virus, in turn, helping the fight in Canada.
“We need to be thinking about the humanity of people in other parts of the world, presumably Canadians do care about people in other places and want to invest in supporting them,” John Cameron, professor of international development at Dalhousie University, told CTV’s Your Morning Thursday.
- Vaccine tracker: The top contenders to stop the novel coronavirus
- Case comparison: How do our provinces rank against U.S. states?
“But even from a self-interest perspective, I would argue that our investments in the domestic COVID-19 response plan will be undermined if Canada doesn’t support a global response.”
Cameron says that countries like Canada play a vital role in strengthening such institutions as the WHO, so that they can respond to global emergencies like COVID-19.
He notes that, while Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been criticized by some for pledging too much international aid, the response is vital to bolstering ongoing global vaccine research.
“We can have Canada locked down and a vaccine available for every Canadian, but if we don’t solve this issue globally, the value of that Canadian response is ultimately undermined,” he said.
In May, Trudeau announced an $850 million contribution to the global fight against COVID-19, vowing there would be “more to come” as the international community collaborates to fight the virus.
“In the fight against COVID-19, our first focus will always be here at home, but this is a global challenge. To keep Canadians safe and restart our economy, we need to defeat this virus not just within our borders, but wherever it is found. That’s how we’ll beat COVID-19 for good,” Trudeau said.
“The more we co-operate, the more likely that we find a cure, and find it quickly. And that’s something we all want to see.”