Vaccines, treatments and tests are to be paid for: a total of 6.5 billion euros will come together in the fight against the corona pandemic. Chancellor Merkel also promises a lot of money from Germany at a virtual conference.
Corona conference makes aid pledges worth billions
At the international donation marathon for vaccines and treatments for the lung disease Covid-19, new aid commitments totaling 6.15 billion euros were collected. The EU Commission and Germany alone agreed to just under 5.3 billion euros at a virtual donor conference. Other large donations came from the USA and Canada, for example.
Chancellor Angela Merkel specifically promised an additional EUR 383 million at the conference, while von Leyen announced another EUR 4.9 billion in EU funds. “I am firmly convinced that vaccines, tests and medication must be available, affordable and accessible worldwide,” said Merkel in her video message on the German contribution.
On May 4, Germany had already promised a contribution of 525 million euros for the CEPI vaccine alliance, the GAVI global vaccine alliance, the World Health Organization (WHO) and various product development partnerships. In total, the donation marathon had raised almost ten billion euros before the conference on Saturday. The funds now promised by the EU Commission are to flow as loans and guarantees.
EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen spoke of an incredible result. She had organized the donor conference with a New York non-governmental organization. At the end there should be a big concert with artists like Coldplay, Miley Cyrus, Shakira and Justin Bieber in the evening, that is broadcast on the Internet. The organizers were also able to win numerous non-music stars for guest appearances for the online gala. They include actresses Kerry Washington and Charlize Theron, ex-football professional David Beckham and former top model Naomi Campbell.
The evening was to be moderated by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. “This critical moment in history demands that we all stick together and create a better future for everyone,” said the actor of his commitment. The aim is to strengthen the global community, which is committed to fair access to health care and fights against the enormous injustices in our world.
It is still unclear when vaccines and effective medicines against the coronavirus will be ready for use. The funds required to fight the pandemic worldwide, however, have recently been estimated by the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres at around 40 billion US dollars (36 billion euros).
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