Addis ababa: The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on Wednesday announced a 150 million USD funding expansion for the global response to COVID-19 pandemic.
The new commitment will fund the development of diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines as well as new efforts to provide partners in Africa and Asia with resources to scale their COVID-19 detection, treatment and isolation endeavors, it was revealed.
The foundation also called on world leaders to unite in a global response to COVID-19 to ensure equitable access to diagnostics, treatments, and vaccines.
Gates Foundation Co-Chair Melinda Gates said that it is clear that the world’s response to the pandemic will not be effective unless it is also equitable.
“We have a responsibility to meet this global crisis with global solidarity” she said.
In addition to contributing to the development of diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines, these funds will support efforts against COVID-19 in low-and-middle-income countries, where local leaders and healthcare workers are doing heroic work to protect vulnerable communities and slow the spread of the disease, she added.
The foundation will leverage a portion of its 2.5 billion USD strategic investment fund, which uses a suite of financial tolls to address market failure and incentive private enterprise to develop affordable and accessible health product.
The fund will also be used to help health systems in low and middle income countries facilitate the rapid procurement of personal protective equipments for health care workers COVID-19 diagnostic, oxygen therapeutics and other essential medical supplies.
“COVID-19 doesn’t obey border laws. Even if most countries succeed in slowing the disease over the next few months, the virus could return if the pandemic remains serve enough elsewhere,” Melinda Gates said.
“The world community must understand that so long as COVID-19 is somewhere, we need to act as if it were everywhere. Beating this pandemic will require an unprecedented level of international and cooperation,” she added.
In announcing the new 150 million USD commitment, the foundation identified four priority areas for investment included accelerating virus detection, protecting the most vulnerable, minimizing social and economic impact and develop products for a sustained response.
Source: Ethiopia News agency