G-20 pledges more than US$21 billion to fight coronavirus

Volunteers disinfect a street in Santa Maria del Paramo, Spain, on April 22, 2020. PHOTO: REUTERS

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.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.