Coronavirus. Donor conference opens without the United States

The leaders of many countries – with the exception of United States – kicked off Monday marathon call for donations as part of a global initiative against coronavirus aimed at developing tests, treatments and vaccines and making them widely available worldwide at affordable prices

? > Follow our live Monday, May 4 devoted to the coronavirus pandemic

The objective is to raise at least 7.5 billion euros for the international pandemic action plan launched at the end of April by the World Health Organization (WHO) to speed up access to tools to fight against Covid-19 around the world.

To raise these funds, which could take several weeks or several months, the European Union (EU) has partnered with some of these member states, including France and Germany, but also the United Kingdom and Norway. , Canada, Japan and even Saudi Arabia, which holds the presidency of the G20 this year.

France has pledged 500 million

The EU has pledged a billion euros, Germany 525 million and France 500 million, while organizations like the World Bank, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and wealthy individuals are also invited to contribute.

I think May 4 will mark a turning point in our fight against the coronavirus because today the whole world is coming together, said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen at the start of the videoconference.

The United States did not participate in this initiative. Donald Trump suspended the US contribution to the WHO budget in mid-April accusing the UN agency of having failed in his essential duties in the fight against the new coronavirus pandemic, arousing a concert of international disapproval.

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Emmanuel Macron said he was convinced that Washington would participate ultimately on the initiative. We have had several discussions with our American partners and I am sure that the Americans will eventually engage in this same dynamic because it is good for the planet , said the French head of state during a press briefing at the Élysée.

“An unprecedented exercise in cooperation”

Nobody would understand that we are wasting time, that we are wasting money, nobody would understand that the day we have a vaccine somewhere we do not put ourselves in a situation to produce it as quickly as possible, for everyone, all over the planet, he said.

What we are doing is an unprecedented exercise in cooperation, acceleration and defining a new global good and I am confident that the United States will come, he continued. Today they are on the side, it does not obstruct anything and it does not hinder our initiative in any way, we continue the dialogue and we are engaged in a permanent dialogue with them.

The head of state also said he was convinced that the eight billion euros would be reached.

The donations announced at Monday’s conference may not include all new funding, as pledges already made since the start of the year are also included in these announcements.

More than 3.5 million people have already contracted the new coronavirus worldwide and more than 245,000 deaths are attributed to COVID-19 since the virus’s emergence in China late last year, according to a count by Reuters.

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