G20 pledges more than $21 billion to fight coronavirus

Reuters

Posted at Jun 07 2020 08:57 AM

Phials of an mRNA type vaccine candidate for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are pictured at Chulalongkorn University during the development of an mRNA type vaccine for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Bangkok, Thailand, May 25, 2020. Athit Perawongmetha, Reuters/file

CAIRO - The Group of 20 rich and emerging economies has pledged more than $21 billion to fight the coronavirus, the group said early on Saturday.

"The G20, with invited countries, has coordinated the global efforts to support the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. To date, G20 members and invited countries have pledged over US$21 billion to support funding in global health," the group said in a statement.

The pledges will be directed towards diagnostics, vaccines, therapeutics, and research and development, the statement added.

In April, the group called on all countries, non-governmental organizations, philanthropies and the private sector to help close a financing gap estimated at over $8 billion to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Saudi Arabia, the current G20 chair has pledged $500 million to support global efforts to combat the pandemic. It said then it would allocate $150 million to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness and Innovation, $150 million to the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations, and $200 million to other health organizations and programs.

At least 391,108 people have died globally from COVID-19 and more than 6.68 million people have been infected by the novel coronavirus that causes it, following an outbreak that started in Wuhan, China, in early December.