CAIRO (REUTERS) - The Group of 20 rich and emerging economies has pledged more than US$21 billion (S$29 billion) to fight the coronavirus, the group said early on Saturday (June 6).
"The G-20, with invited countries, has coordinated the global efforts to support the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. To date, G-20 members and invited countries have pledged over US$21 billion to support funding in global health," the group said in a statement.
The pledges will be directed towards diagnostics, vaccines, therapeutics, and research and development, the statement added.
In April, the group called on all countries, non-governmental organisations, philanthropies and the private sector to help close a financing gap estimated at over US$8 billion to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.
Saudi Arabia, the current G-20 chair has pledged US$500 million to support global efforts to combat the pandemic. It said then it would allocate US$150 million to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness and Innovation, US$150 million to the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisations, and US$200 million to other health organisations and programmes.
At least 391,108 people have died globally from Covid-19 and more than 6.68 million people have been infected by the novel coronavirus that causes it, following an outbreak that was firs detected in Wuhan, China, in early December.