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EU leaders in €7.5bn virus research appeal
Op-ed

EU leaders in €7.5bn virus research appeal

3 min. 03.05.2020 From our online archive
French, German, Italian leaders launch "pledging conference" to stop funding shortfall
Merkel and Macron - here in 2018 - are among the authors of this appeal. Photo: AFP/Ludovic Marin
Merkel and Macron - here in 2018 - are among the authors of this appeal. Photo: AFP/Ludovic Marin

The authors are Giuseppe Conte, Italian prime minister, Emmanuel Macron, president of France, Angela Merkel, German chancellor, Charles Michel, president of the European Council, Erna Solberg, prime minister of Norway and Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission. The text has been abridged.

The world is confronted with a virus that sweeps across countries and continents, breaking into our homes and our hearts. This virus has caused devastation and pain in all corners of the world, locking us away from the touch of the people we love, the joy of the things we usually do and the sights of the places we want to be.

This sacrifice, and the heroic efforts of medical and care staff around the world, have helped us bend the trend in many parts of the world. While some are cautiously emerging from lockdown, others are still in isolation and see their daily social and economic lives severely restricted.

But what we all have in common is that none of us can really think or plan ahead with any great certainty about what the future of the pandemic really holds.

This makes it imperative that we give ourselves the best chance to defeat it. This means bringing together the world’s best - and most prepared - minds to find the vaccines, treatments and therapies we need to make our world healthy again, while strengthening the health systems that will make them available for all, with a particular attention to Africa.

We are building on the commitment by G20 leaders to develop a massive and co-ordinated response to the virus. We are supporting the call to action that the World Health Organization and other global health actors have made together. We are determined to work together, with all those who share our commitment to international co-operation. We are ready to lead and support the global response.

Our aim is simple: on the 4th of May we want to raise, in an online pledging conference, an initial 7.5 billion euros (8 billion dollars) to make up the global funding shortfall estimated by the WHO’s Global Preparedness Monitoring Board (GPMB) and others.

We will all put our own pledges on the table and we are glad to be joined by partners from the world over. Every single euro or dollar will be channelled primarily through recognised global health organisations such as CEPI, Gavi, the Vaccines Alliance, as well as the Global Fund and Unitaid.

If we can develop a vaccine that is produced by the world, for the whole world, this will be a unique global public good of the 21st century. Together with our partners, we commit to making it available, accessible and affordable to all. This is our generation’s duty and we know we can make this happen.

We know this race will be long. As from today, we will sprint towards our first goal but we will be ready for a marathon. The current target will only cover the initial needs: manufacturing and delivering medicines on a global scale will require resources well above the target.

Together, we have to ensure that resources will continue being mobilised and that progress will be made to achieve universal access to vaccination, treatment and testing.

This is a defining moment for the global community. By rallying around science and solidarity today we will sow the seeds for greater unity tomorrow.

This is the World against Covid-19. And together we will win.


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