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Global leaders, commonly referred to as the Elders, have called on developed countries and multilateral institutions to support less-developed and poorer states whose health systems and weaker socioeconomic structures risk being overwhelmed by the rapidly spreading coronavirus pandemic.

Founded by former president Nelson Mandela in 2007, the Elders grouping is an organisation of independent global leaders working for peace and human rights. Other members are Graca Machel, former UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon, former Liberian head of state Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former US president Jimmy Carter, former prime minister of Ireland Mary Robinson, Muhammad Yunus, Ela Bhatt and  former prime minister of Norway and director-general of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Gro Harlem Brundtland. ..

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