A conglomeration of the world’s richest countries are joining together today to raise funds for the Coronavirus Global Response through a “worldwide pledging marathon” that aims to raise $8 billion.
The European Union (EU), Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom, Norway, and current G-20 President, Saudi Arabia, are leading the COVID-19 pledging conference. The initiative aims to support the accelerated development, production, and equitable global access to new essential health technologies such as a vaccine.
Saudi Health Minister Tawfig Alarabi used his spot during the live-streamed pledging conference broadcast to encourage governments, individuals, businesses, and organizations around the world to support the campaign.
Saudi Arabia is hoping to spur on other donors by announcing that the kingdom “has donated $500 million and is urging all members and organizations to commit to empowering global solidarity and bridging direct (COVID-19) funding gaps,” Alarabi said.
King Abdullah of Jordan used his spot on the live stream to highlight the importance of supporting the most vulnerable to COVID-19 in his country, the MENA region, and globally.
“In my region, failure is not an option, with ongoing conflict and unemployment, the risks are too high,” the Jordanian monarch stressed.
Money raised will be funneled into three separate areas: Diagnostics, treatments, and vaccines. An op-ed from the European Commission published prior to the pledging conference shared King Abdullah’s concerns and warned that “we will not truly be safe until all of us are safe–across every village, city, region, and country in the world.”
The pledging marathon will build on the fundraising efforts of the World Health Organisation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).
It comes off the back of the G-20’s commitment to “spare no effort” in fighting COVID-19 and accelerating universal access to therapies, treatments, and diagnostics, and a similar promise by the EU to seek solutions to the global coronavirus pandemic.