Countries pledge €7.4bn for COVID-19 vaccines

The European Commission hosted a virtual conference on 4th May to raise funds for research into coronavirus vaccines and treatments where €7.4 billion in pledges was realised from donors worldwide. The conference narrowly missed its initial target of €7.5billion.

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

Speaking during the virtual summit, President of the EU, Ursula von der Leyen, hailed the fundraising as a powerful show of global solidarity.

"I believe 4th May will mark a turning point in our fight against coronavirus because today the world is coming together," she said.

The donations came from about 40 countries, the UN, research institutes and philanthropic bodies. Notably absent from the EC’s event was the US, Russia and India.

 Of the €7.5bn, €4bn will go on vaccine development, €2bn on the search for a treatment and €1.5bn for producing tests, the EU said.

The UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres warned that the initial target of €7.5 billion will not be enough to ensure the distribution of coronavirus health technologies worldwide and much more would be needed, putting the final sum required near €38bn.

Due to this, the Commission is inviting governments, business leaders, public figures philanthropists, artists and citizens to raise awareness about this global pledging effort. Donors are also invited to continue pledging to the Coronavirus Global Response. They can choose which priority to donate to – Test, Treat or Prevent.

The worldwide pledging effort runs until the end of May.

Photo courtesy / Unsplash

Article by Jedidah Mwangi