Nearly US$1billion in pledges for COVID tests, treatments, vaccines

Nearly US$1billion in pledges for COVID tests, treatments, vaccines

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

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NEW YORK— The United Nations and its partners today welcomed a monumental show of solidarity as governments, private sector, civil society and international organisations committed support to the Access to COVID-19 Tools- (ACT) Accelerator initiative launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) alongside international partners. 

Nearly US$1 billion in new financing was today committed to the initiative  – the world's most comprehensive multilateral end-to-end solution to the devastating COVID-19 pandemic.

The United Kingdom has pledged £571m (US$732m); Canada has pledged CAD 440m (US$332m);

Germany pledged EUR 100m (US$117m); Sweden pledged US$10m.

The World Bank pledged US$12 billion to support developing countries purchase COVID-19 vaccines as soon as they are available (to be ratified by their shareholders); and

A coalition of 16 pharmaceutical companies and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation signed an agreement to cooperate on vaccine manufacturing and to scale up production.                                                                                         

The ACT-Accelerator, which was co-launched by the WHO, European Commission, France and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation just five months ago, needs an additional US$35 billion to realise its goals of producing 2 billion vaccine doses, 245 million treatments and 500 million tests.                                                                                   

The new commitments to the initiative are expected to be leveraged to catalyse further funding to continue the accelerator's groundbreaking work. 

 Most urgently, the ACT-Accelerator requires US$15 billion to support immediate capacity-building — for research and development, manufacturing, procurement and delivery systems — by the end of the year.

 Convening a high-level event at the 75th Session of the UN General Assembly to urgently mobilise support for the accelerator, Secretary-General António Guterres commended the “extraordinary international effort to address a human crisis like no other in our lifetimes,” adding that more efforts must be made to further deepen the remarkable progress so far. 

 “It is in every country's national and economic self-interest to work together to massively expand access to tests and treatments, and to support a vaccine as a global public good— a “people's vaccine” available and affordable for everyone, everywhere,” he said.

 ”The ACT-Accelerator—including its COVAX Facility—is the vehicle to get us there. Investing in the ACT-Accelerator will accelerate every country's own recovery,” Guterres added.

He co-hosted the event with the United Kingdom's Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, South Africa's Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, and the WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. 

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