The European Commission raised $8 billion (€7.4 billion) in pledges from countries and other donors on Monday during the Coronavirus Global Response pledging event. The initiative, co-chaired by the European Commission and nine countries (excluding, notably, the United States) originally set out to raise €7.5 billion by the end of May to help fund the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the initiative’s mission statement, the pledges will be used to address the three most pressing needs: improving diagnostics, finding effective treatments and developing a vaccine. All of the funds raised will be funneled directly to the recipients, which include the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation (CEPI) for vaccines, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance for vaccine deployment, Therapeutics Accelerator for therapeutics, the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) for diagnostics and finally the World Health Organization (WHO) for health systems related to coronavirus.
“The commitment is for all new vaccines, diagnostics and treatments against coronavirus to be made available globally for an affordable price, regardless of where they were developed,” the organization’s website reads, emphasizing the need for international cooperation as opposed to competition in the face of a truly global crisis.
“Today the world showed extraordinary unity for the common good. Governments and global health organizations joined forces against coronavirus,” President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen said in an official statement following Monday’s pledging event. “With such commitment, we are on track for developing, producing and deploying a vaccine for all. However, this is only the beginning. We need to sustain the effort and to stand ready to contribute more. The pledging marathon will continue. After governments, civil society and people worldwide need to join in, in a global mobilization of hope and resolve.”
As the following chart shows, the countries behind the Global Response Initiative all pledged significant amounts to help reach the funding goal, which was nearly met at the end of the three-hour online pledging event.