On May 4, a group of nations and the European Commission raised 7.4 billion euros ($8 billion U.S.) to help make up for funding shortfalls in combating the COVID-19 outbreak. The funding will be used for a variety of purposes, including the development of diagnostics and vaccines.
The fundraising event was held in response to a call for more money to respond to COVID-19 by the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board (GPMB), a body convened by the World Health Organization (WHO) and World Bank Group.
The initial 7.4 billion euros from donors around the world included 1.4 billion euros ($1.5 billion) by the European Commission. The event was co-convened by the European Union, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Norway, Spain, and the United Kingdom.
In support of the GPMB's call to action, the European Commission is developing coordinated responses to COVID-19. This includes launching the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator for the research, development, and equitable distribution of vaccines and other lifesaving therapeutics and diagnostic treatments.
The funds raised will be channeled through recognized global health organizations such as GAVI (formerly the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization), the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), and the Vaccines Alliance. The goal will be to develop and deploy as quickly as possible diagnostics, treatments, and vaccines, according to European Commission leaders.