Pledging marathon registers $22 billion tala

By Adel Fruean 06 May 2020, 2:00PM

The European Union has registered more than EUR$7.0 billion (T$22 billion) in pledges from donors worldwide during a Coronavirus Global Response pledging marathon.

The funding will go towards the development and universal deployment of diagnostics, treatments and vaccines against coronavirus.

The money comes world leaders, international organisations and companies to develop new tools to detect, treat and prevent the deadly virus.

According to a statement from European Union, the Commission has so far registered EUR$7.4 billion, which nearly meets their initial target of EUR$7.5million.  This includes a pledge of EUR $1.4 billion by the European Union Commission.

The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen said that the world showed extraordinary unity for the common good.

 “Governments and global health organisations joined forces against coronavirus,” she said.

She added that with such commitment, “we are on track for developing, producing and deploying a vaccine for all.”

 “However, this is only the beginning. We need to sustain the effort and to stand ready to contribute more.

 “The pledging marathon will continue. After governments, civil society and people worldwide need to join in, in a global mobilisation of hope and resolve.”

The pledging event was co-convened by the European Union, Canada, France, Germany, Italy (also incoming G20 presidency), Japan, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (also holding the G20 presidency), Norway, Spain and the United Kingdom.

The initiative is a response to the call from the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) and a group of health actors for a global collaboration for the accelerated development, production and equitable global access to new coronavirus essential health technologies.

The Coronavirus Global Response Initiative is comprised of three partnerships for testing, treating and preventing underpinned by health systems strengthening.

“The initial target of € $7.5 billion will not be enough to ensure the distribution of coronavirus health technologies worldwide, as this involves significant costs in terms of production, procurement and distribution.”

To help reach the objectives of the Coronavirus Global Response, the European Commission is committing € 1 billion in grants and €400 million in guarantees on loans through reprioritisation of Horizon 2020 (€1 billion), RescEU (€ $80 million), the Emergency Support Instrument (€ $150 million) and external instruments (€ $170 million).

A total of € $100 million will be donated to CEPI and € $158 million to the World Health Organization.

EU-funded calls for proposals and subsequent projects under Horizon 2020 will be aligned with the objectives of the three partnerships and subject to open access to data.

Funding under RescEU will go towards the procurement, stockpiling and distribution of vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics.

Donors are invited to continue pledging to the Coronavirus Global Response.

They can choose which priority to donate to – test, treat or prevent and they can also donate to the horizontal work stream of the Coronavirus Global Response, aiming to help health systems in the world cope with the pandemic.

The Commission will soon announce the breakdown of the amount raised today and how much will go to vaccines, therapeutics, diagnostics and health systems strengthening related to COVID-19.

In a statement, the leaders wrote that, “If we can develop a vaccine that is produced by the world, for the whole world, this will be a unique global public good of the 21st century.”

 “Together with our partners, we commit to making it available, accessible and affordable to all.”

By Adel Fruean 06 May 2020, 2:00PM

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