The European Union is joining forces with global partners to kick-start a pledging effort – the Coronavirus Global Response – starting on 4 May 2020. The World Health Organization (WHO) and global health organisations have launched a joint call for action to develop fast and equitable access to safe, quality, effective and affordable diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines against coronavirus.
To raise funds in support of this endeavour, the European Union and its partners will organise a worldwide pledging marathon. Countries and organisations around the world are invited to pledge to help reach the target of €7.5 billion in initial funding.
European Commission President von der Leyen said: “We need to bring the world, its leaders and people together against coronavirus. In just 10 days, we will launch a global pledging effort. A real marathon. Because beating coronavirus requires a global response and sustained actions on many fronts. We need to develop a vaccine, to produce it and deploy it to every corner of the world. And we need to make it available at affordable prices.”
Researchers and innovators around the world are working very hard to find solutions to save lives and protect our health. Starting on the 4th of May, the Commission will register pledges from countries and business foundations. On that day, the Commission will also announce the next milestones of a global campaign, which is to kick off an ongoing rolling replenishment.
The Commission is also inviting governments, business leaders, public figures philanthropists, artists and citizens to raise awareness about this global pledging effort. The funds collected will be channelled into three strands: diagnostics, treatments and vaccines.
The countdown to the start of marathon begins today, the first day of the 2020 World Immunisation Week organised by the United Nations. The theme this year is #VaccinesWork for All and the campaign will focus on how vaccines, as well as the people who develop, deliver and receive them, work to protect the health of everyone, everywhere.
Find out more about the effort and how to get involved on the Coronavirus Global Response website: europa.eu/global-response
On 26 March, in an extraordinary meeting on the coronavirus outbreak, the G20 agreed to establish a global initiative on pandemic preparedness and response to “act as a universal, efficient, sustained funding and coordination platform to accelerate the development and delivery of vaccines, diagnostics and treatments.”
On 24 April, the WHO and an initial group of global health actors launched a landmark, global collaboration for the accelerated development, production and equitable global access to new COVID-19 essential health technologies. The group includes the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), GAVI – the Vaccine Alliance – , the Global Fund, UNITAID, the Wellcome Trust and the World Bank. Together, they committed to the shared aim of equitable global access to innovative tools to fight the COVID-19 virus for all. Read the joint call to action here.
To respond to the joint call for action from health actors, the EU is joining forces with France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Norway and Saudi Arabia to host a pledging conference. This follows the announcement by President von der Leyen on 15 April that the Commission would organise an online pledging event to fund the development of a vaccine against COVID-19.
In parallel, the Commission is committing hundreds of millions of euros in research and innovation measures to develop vaccines, new treatments, diagnostic tests and medical systems to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.