World leaders pledge $8-B to fight coronavirus

BRUSSELS – More than USD8 billion has been pledged to fight the deadly coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) worldwide, European Commission head Ursula von der Leyen announced on Monday.

This sum means today’s international Coronavirus Global Response conference could reach its goal to mobilize at least USD8 billion for diagnostics, treatment, and vaccines.

“Today, the world showed extraordinary unity for the common good,” von der Leyen said, praising governments and global health organizations for joining forces.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was among the world leaders taking part in the conference, pledging to contribute to the cause with a sum to be determined later this month.

Von der Leyen also warned that the donor conference was only the beginning of the pledge “marathon” that needs to continue.

She said she expects civil society and people worldwide “to join in a global mobilization of hope and resolve.”

The initiative aims to develop coronavirus vaccines that can be accessible to everyone as a worldwide public good.

State and business leaders from all around the globe, as well as international organizations, offered support in the form of grants and loans.

The EU as an international organization offered 1 billion euros (USD1.09 billion) for the cause, while its member states also contributed.

The two biggest European donors were France and Germany who pledged 500 million euros (USD546 million) and 525 million euros (USD547 million), respectively.

China also offered USD50 million, Japan USD830 million, and Canada USD600 million. (Anadolu)