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A coalition of social justice, international aid and public health organisations in the UK [1] is calling on the government to ensure all funding raised at Coronavirus Global Response Summit on 4 May [2] leads to equitable access on vaccines, treatments and tests: 

With most of the world focused on stopping the COVID-19 pandemic, the Trump and Johnson administrations are moving forward this week with US-UK trade negotiations that civil society groups in both countries worry could privilege corporate profits at the expense of the environment, consumer safety, public health and worker rights.  

Reacting to reports that today’s Coronavirus Global Response Summit has raised the majority of its €7.5 billion target for the research and development of Covid-19 vaccines and treatments, Heidi Chow of Global Justice Now said:  

“We welcome the funding that has been pledged today and the commitment of the hosts to make any Covid-19 vaccine available, accessible and affordable to all. But what is not clear is how the hosts of today’s summit intend to achieve the aim of universal access. 

Reaction to reports that US-UK trade talks are to restart virtually next week.

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A documentary by the BBC’s award-winning Africa Eye team, aired yesterday, has reported on concerns of alleged fraud, bribery and other highly questionable business practices by two British managers appointed by a UK aid-backed private equity fund to run its investee Kenyan firm Spencon.

A group of charities and campaigning groups has written to the government today, calling on them to halt trade negotiations with the United States to focus instead on the health and economic consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The letter was sent following comments made by the United States Trade Representative on Monday 23 March 2020 in which he confirmed that “both the United States and the United Kingdom are committed to starting trade negotiations as soon as possible”.

Only the most radical reset, akin to a post-world war overhaul of the international economy, will allow us to rebuild the international economy in a way which means we can tackle future pandemics.

As the G20 group of major economies begins an emergency coronavirus summit online on Monday, anti-poverty campaigners Global Justice Now called for international coordination to secure an unprecedented package of measures to build public healthcare capacity, especially in low-income countries which stand most exposed to the pandemic threat. 

In the current COVID-19 crisis, it is clearer than ever that our lives depend upon a strong and effective publicly run NHS. We need to know whether the government is keeping to its promises that the NHS is not on the table in a trade deal with the US or whether the details of negotiations are undermining that. This Trade Bill should make it a requirement to update parliament on what is going on and to conduct negotiations openly and transparently.