Global Covid-19 fundraising event raises $6.9bn

Global Citizen mobilises over $1.5bn in cash grants and $5.4bn in loans for equitable access to tests, treatments, vaccines

Commission President Ursula von der Leyen

A global fundraising meeting on Saturday raised €6.15bn ($6.9bn) from the United States, the European Commission and numerous countries to fight COVID-19, with many participants stressing that an eventual vaccine should be available to anyone who needs it.

The pledging summit, Global Goal: Unite for Our Future, part of a joint initiative by the EU executive and advocacy group Global Citizen, also included a globally televised and streamed fundraising concert featuring Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, Shakira, Chloe X Halle, Usher and others.

The Commission together with the European Investment Bank pledged €4.9bn ($5.50bn), the United States $545m, Germany €383m, Canada C$300m ($219m) and Qatar $10m. Altogether, forty governments took part in the summit.

The monumental commitments secured worth more than $1.5bn in new grants and $5.4bn in loans and guarantees, for a total of $6.9bn.

Out of the $1.5bn raised to address the health-related impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, $389m will go in direct support to the core ACT Accelerator activities. The ACT Accelerator has brought together all the key organisations aiming to develop essential health products and ensure they are distributed equitably through rapid and ambitious action to develop, test, bring to market, procure, and distribute new diagnostics, drugs, and technologies, as well as taking steps to help ensure health systems can deliver these tools to the people who need them. 

In addition to supporting health-related responses to this pandemic, the Global Goal: Unite for Our Future campaign has also mobilised $236m to address the broader effects of the pandemic on the world's most marginalized and disadvantaged communities, the Global Citizens announced.

During the event, the EU demonstrated it is championing global cooperation in efforts to control and end the pandemic, in contrast to the United States and China’s focus on national initiatives. 

Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said it was crucial that everyone who needed it should have access to a vaccine.

“I am trying to convince high-income countries to reserve vaccines not only for themselves but also for low- and middle income countries. This is a stress test for solidarity,” she said.

British Premier Boris Johnson concurred.

“If and when an effective vaccine is found, then we as world leaders have moral duty to ensure that it is truly available to all,” he said.

French President Emmanuel Macron was adamant about pooling efforts together.

“Let’s refuse an every man for himself approach, let’s continue to move forward together,” he said.

Italy, one of the hardest hit by the pandemic, echoed his sentiment.

‘We will overcome this crisis together, and we will recover better for a healthier, fairer, and more sustainable world,” Giuseppe Conte, prime minister of Italy, said.

More on this subject: Coronavirus

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