World leaders have pledged more than $8bn (£6.5bn) to fund research into the development of a vaccine for Coronavirs / Covid-19.
Around 40 countries and major donors took part in an online summit hosted by the EU Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, who said that the funds would be used to encourage global co-operation in the fight against the Coronavirus. Co-hosts of the summit include the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Norway and Saudi Arabia.
The European Union pledged $1 billion which was matched by the pledge made by Norway. Japan pledged more than $800 million and France, Saudi Arabia, and Germany each pledged €500 million. The United Kingdom also pledged £388 million with UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, saying that the more the world pulls together and shares their expertise, the faster the scientists will be able to develop a vaccine.
Russia and the United States did not take part in the online summit.
$4.4bn will be spent on the development of a vaccine and around $2bn will be spent on the search for a treatment for the virus. $1.6bn will be used for producing tests.
Von der Leyen said, “I believe 4 May will mark a turning point in our fight against coronavirus because today the world is coming together. […] The partners are many, the goal is one: to defeat this virus.”
French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte also signed up to the initiative.