Saudi Arabia pledges $ 500 million for efforts against COVID-19



Saudi Arabia, who holds the G20 presidency, pledged today to allocate $ 500 million to "leading international organizations" to support the fight against COVID-19 worldwide, a day after the United States withdrew its contribution to World Health Organization.

In a statement, the Saudi G20 presidency detailed that it will allocate 150 million dollars to the Coalition for Innovations in Preparation for Epidemics (CEPI), another 150 million to the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) and the remaining 200 million for "other regional and international health organizations and programs".

Saudi Arabia did not mention the World Health Organization (WHO) but affirmed that "it recognizes the importance of global solidarity and cooperation to fight this pandemic" and, therefore, called on all countries, non-governmental organizations, private actors and others to raise the necessary funds for the pandemic.

The kingdom's contribution "will support emergency responses and preparedness; the development and deployment of new diagnoses, therapies and vaccines; the fulfillment of international surveillance and coordination needs; and the guarantee of supplies of sufficient equipment for health workers", detailed in the note.

In addition, he noted that this promise is part of the commitment made by the leaders of the G20 countries to mobilize all the funds that international organizations need to face this health emergency.

Just yesterday the G20 announced a "temporary suspension of the payment of debt services for the poorest countries that ask for containment" in the midst of the pandemic so that they can allocate that money to COVID-19.

Also on Wednesday, the US president, Donald Trump, ordered to freeze the funds that his Government contributes to the WHO, being the main donor with a contribution of between 400 and 500 million dollars a year.

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