Billions pledged for the fight against the coronavirus

European Commission's international pledging event Billions pledged for the fight against the coronavirus

"The pandemic is a global challenge. That is why we can only beat it if we take global action," stressed Chancellor Angela Merkel today at an international pledging event. Germany is to contribute 525 million euros to the fight against the coronavirus. Contributions pledged by more than 40 countries and organisations totalled 7.4 billion euros.

Chancellor Angela Merkel at an online pledging event organised by the European Commission

Chancellor Angela Merkel at the online pledging event organised by the European Commission

Photo: Presse- und Informationsamt der Bundesregierung / Europäische Union, 2020

"I believe the 4th of May will mark a turning point in our fight against COVID-19, because today the world is coming together," said Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, when she opened the online pledging event she was hosting.

Many partners, one goal

At the conference, governments from over 40 states announced their financial contribution to the fight against COVID-19. At the end of the day, 7.4 billion euros came together in pledges for the Global Response Initiative of the World Health Organization and other partners. This initiative aims to bring together all international research efforts to develop and deploy COVID-19 diagnostics, treatments and a vaccine. Once these are available, they are to be equitably shared.

Sign of hope at this difficult time

Chancellor Angela Merkel stressed that the pledging conference is "a sign of hope for many countries". Germany has also pledged to collaborate on work to develop a vaccine, as well as treatments and diagnostics.

This is why at the conference Germany pledged 525 million euros for the Global Response Initiative. Another 1.3 billion euros will go to global health projects, in particular to support Gavi the Vaccine Alliance and to improve health systems in many countries of the global South.

On 24 April 2020 the World Health Organization (WHO) launched the historic Global Response Initiative to fight COVID-19, along with other global health actors and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Working together to strengthen health organisations

A large percentage of the funds pledged will go to the World Health Organization (WHO), Gavi the Vaccine Alliance, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI). This should help them act effectively.

Many heads of state and government see the WHO as the most important organisation in the coordination of international cooperation to fight the pandemic. Gavi and CEPI specialise in the treatment and prevention of life-threatening diseases in developing countries. Research work on a vaccine for COVID-19, and the production and equitable distribution of a vaccine of this sort for the entire world will now become a main focus of their activities.