On May 4, the European Union, France, Germany, Japan, and other partners hosted a Coronavirus Global Response international pledging conference to start the process of raising funds for the international fight against COVID-19. The virtual pledging conference stressed the necessity of cross-border solidarity and cooperation in battling the pandemic. Participating countries pledged support to a range of international organizations to facilitate testing and diagnosis, treatment, and vaccine development. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe addressed the conference, promising that Japan will invest approximately US$834 million in global efforts, focusing on the development and access to therapeutic drugs and vaccines.
Prime Minister Abe stated that developing medicines and vaccines, ensuring equitable access to them, and providing assistance to vulnerable developing countries are the priority. In particular, he announced that approximately US$234 million in a special pledge will be allocated to GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, and CEPI.
He also promised to work closely with other partners, singling out the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The Global Fund has played a large role in the global pandemic response by providing up to US$1 billion in country assistance against COVID-19, strengthening health systems, and maintaining the current lifesaving programs for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria.
Prime Minister Abe announced that Japan is giving supplies of the promising medicine Avigan, developed by FUJIFILM Toyama Chemical, to vulnerable countries. Japan is already in the process of distributing this medicine to more than 40 countries.
Japan will provide emergency aid to medical workers in response to the UN humanitarian assistance appeal, as well as support infectious disease control and health system strengthening in developing countries. Japan also plans to help strengthen capacity in the health and medical fields and increase the supply chain flow for healthcare products in developing countries.
The conference was co-sponsored by the European Union, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Canada, and Japan. A total of €7.4 billion in contributions were pledged at the virtual meeting.
For more information on the Coronavirus Global Response International Pledging Conference and the Global Fund, please visit: https://bit.ly/3ffQGnH