04 May 2020 | Statements

Unitaid joins global cooperation COVID-19 efforts as international pledging marathon is launched

The European Union and its partner governments launched the international pledging marathon to raise US$ 8 billion to kick-start global cooperation to develop quality, effective and affordable diagnostics, treatments and vaccines against COVID-19. A key part of this is ensure equitable access by all who need them.

The European Union was joined by political leaders from France, Germany, Japan, Norway, Canada, Italy, Spain, UK and Saudi Arabia; as well as the Republic of Korea, South Africa and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation who are members of the Unitaid Executive Board.

Unitaid salutes the efforts of the European Union, countries, foundations and private sector supporting this initiative. Unitaid is proud to work alongside the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator collaboration in driving the work around development, manufacturing, procurement and deployment of treatments.

Building on its areas of expertise, Unitaid will also play a leading role in the diagnostics partnership as well as contribute to cross-cutting issues such as health systems strengthening – in particular to find innovative solutions that are adapted and accessible to all, especially in low resources settings.

“We need to ensure equitable access to these new tools and make sure all those who need them, can access them” said Marisol Touraine, Chair of the Unitaid Executive Board. “In that regard, we should learn from the positive experience of the Medicines Patent Pool and support the implementation of a global voluntary pooling mechanism for COVID-19 related technologies.”

Dr Philippe Duneton, Unitaid Executive Director a.i., said, “Unitaid will work to make sure that medicines and diagnostics are adapted and accessible to everyone, everywhere. Working with partners, industry and civil society will be key to supporting the goals of effective testing, prevention and treatment.”

The pledging marathon started with a landmark pledges of just under US$ 8 billion in an unprecedented global response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Unitaid is fully committed to join forces with its key international partners and countries, and to actively contribute Unitaid expertise in identifying and bringing forward innovation. The pledging event runs until 23 May 2020.

COVID-19 Global Preparedness Pledging infographic (Click image to enlarge on screen)


Media Contact:

Martin HARVEY | +41 79 249 35 29 | harveym@unitaid.who.int

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