7.4 Billion Euros pledged for development of COVID-19 vaccines, diagnostics, therapeutics
DPI, Guyana, Monday, May 4, 2020
Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, announced that some €7.4 Billion was pledged for research and development for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics.
This commitment was made today after 40 countries from across the globe united to support the ACT Accelerator through the COVID-19 Global Response International Pledging Event, hosted by the European Commission.
The ACT Accelerator was launched 10 days ago to support the development, production and equitable distribution of vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics against COVID-19.
“This was a powerful and inspiring demonstration of global solidarity. Today, countries came together not only to pledge their financial support but also to pledge their commitment to ensuring all people can access life-saving tools for COVID-19,” Dr. Ghebreyesus said at his regular media briefing today.
He explained that recent advances in science are enabling the world to move at incredible speed to develop these tools, but the true measure of success will not only be “how fast we can develop safe and effective tools – it will be how equitably these can be distributed.”
The Director-General further noted that the WHO remains committed to working with all countries and partners to ensure these goals are achieved.
“This is an opportunity for the world to come together to confront a common threat, but also to forge a common future; a future in which all people enjoy the right to the highest attainable standard of health – and the products that deliver that right.”
He underscored: “That’s what we mean by health for all. We have been saying it for more than 70 years, since WHO was created. But I think given the experience we have now and the difficulties we’re going through, it’s time to make it happen: health for all.”
Several countries are now starting to ease so-called lockdown and stay-at-home orders.
However, Dr. Ghebreyesus noted that the common commitment to basic measures such as cleaning of hands and physical distancing cannot be relaxed, as well as the commitment to the tools that are the foundation of the response- to find, isolate, test and care for every case, and trace every contact.
“But just as the number of new cases and deaths is declining in some countries, it’s mounting in others. That’s why today’s pledging event is so important. This virus will be with us for a long time, and we must come together to develop and share the tools to defeat it. But of course, today’s event only covers one part of the response – for research and development in vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics.”
Later this week, WHO will launch its updated Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan, which will provide an update of the resources WHO needs to support the international response and national action plans to the end of 2020.
More than 300,000 individuals, corporations and foundations who have contributed to the Solidarity Response Fund, which has generated more than US$210 million in the past six weeks.