Japan extends state of emergency

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen

World leaders have pledged a total of $8 billion for the development and deployment of diagnostics, treatments and vaccines against the novel coronavirus.

The donations came flooding in during a virtual pledging conference today co-hosted by the European Union, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Norway, Spain and the UK. The US did not participate.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said, “Today the world showed extraordinary unity for the common good. Governments and global health organizations joined forces against coronavirus. With such commitment, we are on track for developing, producing and deploying a vaccine for all. However, this is only the beginning. We need to sustain the effort and to stand ready to contribute more. The pledging marathon will continue.”

Here’s what some of the leaders are promising:

Norway pledged $1 billion in contributions, Switzerland promised $381 million and the Netherlands $209.5 million.

Australia pledged $352 million Australian dollars, which is about $226 million USD.

Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte pledged $152.7 million, while South Korea announced a contribution of $50 million and Kuwait promised to donate $40 million.

South Africa said it would pledge $1.3 million and raise a further $61 million from member states of the African Union. Israel promised to invest $60 million in the effort to respond to the pandemic.

Ireland is donating almost $20 million USD. Luxembourg pledged $5.45 million, Sweden $17 million, Portugal $10.9 million, Croatia $1.09 million, Finland $39.3 million. Bulgaria and Romania pledged $109,000 and $218,000, respectively. 

Serbia announced a contribution of $2.18 million, Slovenia $33.6 million, and the Czech Republic announced a joint pledge with Poland, Hungary and Slovakia of $3.27 million.

Meanwhile, Melinda Gates, co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, pledged $100 million to the effort.

Other countries such as the UAE, Oman, Turkey, Monaco and China also promised to contribute to the efforts against Covid-19 without mentioning an amount. 

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