28 Jun 2020

Global fundraiser nets $10.7b for Covid-19 treatments

8:42 am on 28 June 2020

A global fundraising meeting has raised 6.15 billion euros ($NZ10.7b) from the United States, the European Commission and numerous other countries to fight Covid-19, with many participants stressing that an eventual vaccine should be available to anyone who needs it.

Research and development of vaccine against coronavirus.

Forty governments have taken part in a summit and pledged funds to help with Covid-19 tests, treatments and vaccines. Photo: MICROGEN IMAGES/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

The pledging summit, held in Brussels and part of a joint initiative by the EU executive and advocacy group Global Citizen, also included a globally televised and streamed fundraising concert featuring Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, Shakira, Chloe X Halle, Usher and others.

The Commission together with the European Investment Bank pledged 4.9b euros, the United States $545 million ($NZ848m) and Germany 383m euros. Forty governments took part in the summit.

The money will be used for Covid-19 tests, treatments and vaccines, and also to support the world's poorest and most marginalised communities.

Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said it was crucial that everyone who needed it should have access to a vaccine.

"I am trying to convince high-income countries to reserve vaccines not only for themselves but also for low and middle income countries. This is a stress test for solidarity," she said.

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - JUNE 23: European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen speaks during a European Parliament Group Heads Conference

Commission President Ursula von der Leyen says a Covid-19 vaccine will be a "stress test for solidarity" among nations. Photo: AFP

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson concurred.

"If and when an effective vaccine is found, then we as world leaders have a moral duty to ensure that it is truly available to all," he said.

French President Emmanuel Macron was adamant about pooling efforts.

"Let's refuse an every man for himself approach, let's continue to move forward together," he said.

Italy, one of the hardest hit by the pandemic, echoed his sentiment.

The EU is championing global cooperation in efforts to control and end the pandemic, in contrast to the United States and China's focus on national initiatives.

See all RNZ coverage of Covid-19

- Reuters

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