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newsCoronavirus Global Response: kick off of new campaign with support of Global Citizen

Today, the Commission announced the next steps in the Coronavirus Global Response, the global action for universal access to affordable coronavirus vaccination, treatment and testing. The pledging marathon that started on 4 May will now see the launch of a new campaign with the international advocacy organisation Global Citizen, “Global Goal: Unite For Our Future”, that will culminate in a Global Pledging Summit on Saturday 27 June.

Together with Global Citizen, the Commission will step up the mobilisation of funding to enable the world to overcome this pandemic – and avoid another.

This is a new stretch in raising support for the ACT-Accelerator, launched by the World Health Organization with governments and partners through a global call for action on 24 April 2020.  The campaign will seek to raise the considerable resources needed to accelerate the development of new solutions and ensure their universal and inclusive access. It means access everywhere, for everyone who needs them.

The pledging marathon enters its next phase with a new campaign

The outcome of the 4 May pledging event shows the willingness and capacity of the world to join forces and pool resources to overcome the pandemic. It bodes well for the unprecedented international collaboration and resources needed for the production, procurement and distribution of vaccines, treatments and tests.

The magnitude of the task requires the mobilisation of citizens globally. During the next four weeks, Global Citizen will lead the “Global Goal: Unite for our Future” campaign, with the European Commission as patron and Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust as partners.

Coronavirus Global Response partner countries – Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Norway, Saudi Arabia,South Africa, Spain, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom – as well as the European Investment Bank are supporting this campaign. More are expected to join.The World Health Organisation is also a key partner and supporter in this endeavour. President von der Leyen will chair the “Global Goal: Unite for Our Future” Summit on 27 June.

Global artists including Adam Lambert, Chloe x Halle, Chris Rock, Coldplay, Dionne Warwick, Femi Kuti, Fher of Maná, Hugh Jackman, Idris & Sabrina Elba, J Balvin, Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Lang Lang, Miley Cyrus, Padma Lakshmi, Rachel Brosnahan and Shakira have announced that they would help rally citizens to the cause, so they can in turn take action and reach out to world leaders.

In doing so, the campaign will add momentum to organisations such as CEPI, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Therapeutics Accelerator, UNITAID, FIND and the Global Fund. These groups are leading efforts to develop and make available tests, treatments and vaccines for frontline health workers and those most vulnerable to the virus around the world.

The Global Vaccine Summit organised by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance on 4 June will be another important milestone in strengthening the health systems and immunisation capacities of the world's poorest countries, which will be instrumental in reaching the objectives of the Coronavirus Global Response.

In addition, the Commission encourages people to donate towards the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund at WHO.

The global cooperation framework is in motion

As announced on 4 May, the Coronavirus Global Response is comprised of three partnerships for testing, treating and preventing. The partnerships are underpinned by a horizontal work stream on strengthening health systems in relation to coronavirus.

The global cooperation framework (the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator, or ACT-Accelerator) empowers and resources existing organisations to work together in these partnerships, without creating any new structures or institutions. The three partnerships are defining their strategy, resource needs and accountability rules, driven by a strong sense of urgency, collaboration and need for transparency. 

As part of the ACT-Accelerator, a Facilitation Group involving partner countries and global health organisations is being convened to support the work of the partnerships, advocate for additional resources needed as well as common solutions to accomplish their mission. Supported by a coordination hub at WHO, it will ensure coherence across the partnerships and report to donors and global fora on progress made. It will also protect partnerships from undue influence and conflicts of interest.


Watch the partners' video messages here.

President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said: “The more and quicker we mobilise resources and join forces, the higher the chances of getting a vaccine for all within our reach. The world needs to come out stronger from this pandemic. We should be more prepared to face such crisis in the future, with fair access to medicines and strong health systems everywhere around the Earth. This is a global challenge, and it requires a truly global mobilisation.”

Global Citizen Co-Founder and CEO Hugh Evans: “Around the world, people everywhere are eager to resume their lives - spend time with friends and loved ones, and earn a decent wage. To make this a reality, we need COVID-19 tests, treatments and vaccines available to everyone, everywhere. The critical work done by scientists globally, the efforts to distribute solutions regardless of cost, income or geography, and the need to rebuild economies in the poorest countries, all require a massive increase in funding. No one is safe until everyone is safe.”

World Health Organization (WHO) Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom: “The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented global crisis that has been met with an unprecedented global response. On 24 April, heads of State and Government, and key figures of major public and private organizations joined me virtually to launch the ACT accelerator, a landmark collaboration for the development, production and equitable distribution of vaccines, diagnostics, and therapeutics for COVID-19. While WHO can convene and bring together the combined power of several organizations to work with speed and scale, to invest in the technology and the R&D, we need a truly global movement to ensure we reach everyone with the solutions. I am delighted to be part of Global Goal – and work to ensure all people have access to all the tools to defeat COVID-19.”  

President of France Emmanuel Macron said: “Under the ACT-A Initiative, we have joined forces to collectively speed up our work to combat COVID-19 and make the vaccine a global public good. The fight goes on. We must not let up.”

President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa said: “Now, more than ever, the world needs solidarity and cooperation to mobilise and guide investments, and drive delivery towards equitable access for new COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines. I welcome initiative by Global Citizen and the European Commission announcing campaign Global Goal: Unite for Our Future.  Only working together, only working globally we shall overcome this pandemic. Count on South Africa and African Union as partner and strong supporter of this initiative.”

Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel said: “We will only be able to overcome the pandemic if we achieve a truly global solution to the COVID-19 crisis. This is a test of our generation's human kindness. And this test will also teach us important lessons on how to address global challenges in the future.”

Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg said: “In the weeks and months to come, the world will count on our solidarity, our capacity to cooperate, and our willingness to unite for our future. We must continue to fund the development and equitable distribution of a vaccine, and we must commit to building back better from this crisis, guided by the SDGs.”

Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau said:” “Real progress will only be possible through global cooperation. We must ensure that access to the vaccine against COVID-19 is affordable and equitable. We need to take care of each other, and especially of the most vulnerable, and the more we cooperate, the greater the chances of finding a drug and finding it quickly. We're in this fight together and together, we will win.”

Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Adern said: “This pandemic has had far-reaching and devastating impacts on the world. To beat it, we need international collaboration and partnership more than ever. New Zealand is ready to help. We are providing funding to boost our domestic research and for collaboration with scientists around the world, and we will advocate for universal access for any treatments and vaccines. This is the time for us to come together to achieve a global solution. As we say in New Zealand, he waka eke noa – we are all in this together.” 

Prime Minister of Italy Giuseppe Conte said: "The Coronavirus Global Response Pledging Conference confirmed how important is international cooperation. Italy will do its utmost to keep strengthening our alliance to ensure universal and equitable access for vaccines, therapies and medicaments: they shall be our common, global, public good. Governments, international organizations, civil society, private sector, researchers, health and social workers, citizens: all together we will make it.”

Prime Minister of Spain Pedro Sánchez said: “In Spain, we believe in the strength of solidarity. Especially when it comes to saving lives. Ensuring equal and affordable access to vaccines, treatments and diagnosis in the whole world is not just the only way to defeat the virus. It is also what we should do; it is doing the right thing. We strongly support a multilateral response to the pandemic and the launching of the ACT Accelerator is a good example of the common effort needed. This is why we are co-leading this global campaign to mobilise funds, in which every contribution is more needed than ever. We must rise to the challenge that we are facing.”

Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson said: “We will only overcome this crisis by pulling together. The global fight against coronavirus was boosted by the pledges made on May 4th. Next week, the UK will host the Global Vaccine Summit to raise vital funds to stop the spread of infectious diseases. None of us can succeed alone and this is the most urgent shared endeavour of our lifetimes.”

Chancellor of Austria Sebastian Kurz said: “Austria has been among the first countries to find a successful way out of the COVID-19 crisis. We did so by relying on scientific evaluation, innovative medical forecasts and a strong commitment of our citizens. Our initial determination has now put us in a place to help others in need. We are, therefore, more than glad to support the Global Citizen initiative in its ambitious aim to find a global solution for this pandemic.”


Deputy Prime Minister of Belgium Alexander De Croo: “Only by joining hands and acting together, we can overcome the COVID-19 pandemic. Researching a vaccine and strengthening our health care systems while leaving no one behind, will require massive efforts of many. Belgium stands ready to do its part. That's why we are supporting Global Goal: Unite for Our Future, initiated by Global Citizen and the European Commission."

Saudi Arabia Minister of Health Dr. Tawfig AlRabiah: "We believe that the way to overcome this crisis is with joint global, economic and health efforts. Saudi Arabia, on the health side, has pledged $500 million to the international efforts to safeguard people's lives and protect the most vulnerable from COVID-19."

Vice-minister for multilateral affairs and human rights of Mexico Martha Delgado Peralta said: "This pandemic demand a global response based on solidarity and renewed multilateral cooperation. By joining forces with the United Nations, the European Union, the European Council, as well as members of CEPI, we are working to find an immediate and equitable response against COVID-19. This pandemic shows us different challenges as humankind. Mexico reaffirms its commitment to cooperate in the development of the COVID-19 vaccine and to ensure that access to it will be fair and equitable for everyone. We also call to the rest of the countries of Latin America to join this effort as well. We have one global goal: Unite for Our Future.”


Delegate Minister for Higher Education and Scientific Research of Morocco Driss Ouaouicha said: “More than ever before, decision makers today are guided by research findings and recommendations. Morocco, under the leadership of his Majesty King Mohamed VI, is fully committed to supporting and encouraging research to contribute to facing the pandemic and overcoming the Coronavirus. The European Union Coronavirus Global Response is praiseworthy; it provides a framework not only for Europeans, but also for other willing participants from Africa and elsewhere to come together, work together, and ultimately bring people's lives, the world over, back to the next normal.”

On behalf of United Arab Emirates: “The UAE was one of the first countries to send humanitarian aid to support the global fight against the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. The proactive approach consolidates the UAE's role as a beacon of hope in the region and implements its deeply-rooted values of giving, especially during the ongoing global crisis. The UAE is proud to support the efforts of Global Citizens in the Global Goal: United for Our Future Campaign to bring together resources and knowledge to combat the Covid-19 pandemic and empower people across the world against its repercussions. We have to channel our capacities and energies towards building a better future for humanity in a post Covid-19 world.”

European Investment Bank President Werner Hoyer said: “Over the three week pledging period the EIB Group has had the opportunity to significantly increase its pledge in support of the European Union's overall pledging effort. Building on the initial goal announced on 4th May, the EIB Group will pledge € 2billion. Support for treatments, vaccines and cures is an immediate priority. Together with international partners and Team Europe, during this global pledging process, we can ensure that every instrument in our arsenal can be effectively deployed.”

Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of UNAIDS and UN Under-Secretary General: “The time has come for a People's Vaccine: patent-free, free of charge and made available to all people in all countries as a global public good. I am proud to stand with global leaders, experts and activists calling on governments and international partners to ensure this. This is the time to act on the lessons we have learnt from history and the victories of AIDS activists. As we stand together, we must reject the idea once and for all that a vaccine and having quality health care is a privilege of affluence. No – it is a human right. We must resist people in poverty and poor countries being forced to the back of the vaccine queue. This is wrong and it puts us all at risk. Let us unite behind free healthcare for all, and behind a People's Vaccine: our best hope of ending this pandemic.”

Bill and Melinda Gates, Co-Chairs of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation said: “The world has come together in the fight against COVID-19, with people dedicating their ideas, their time, and their resources in response to the virus. It has reminded us that we're all connected – by our health and by our common humanity—and that we all have a role to play in building a healthier, more equitable future.”


Dr Jeremy Farrar, Director of Wellcome said:“The world is only at the start of this unprecedented crisis. Enhancing public health, using social science, and rolling out tests, treatments and vaccines globally is the only exit strategy from this pandemic. Developing, manufacturing and distributing these tools to everybody who needs them will require all countries to work together and step up in partnership and with funding. Global cooperation, pooling of resources, risks and benefits is key if we're to end this pandemic as soon as possible, prevent future tragedies and get the world back to some sense of normality. This will not come cheap, it will cost tens of billions of dollars. But that's a drop in the ocean compared to what this pandemic is costing the global economy every month. It's what health workers need, what the public expect and what we all deserve.  That's why Wellcome has been glad to support the EC's Coronavirus Global Response Initiative and is backing Global Citizen's campaign ‘Unite for our Future.”


Bloomberg Philanthropies Founder Mike Bloomberg said: "In low and middle-income countries around the world, doctors and public health experts are not getting the resources they need to identify this virus, and too many people do not have access to health care that could save their lives,” said Michael Bloomberg, Founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies. “We're glad to support Europe's Coronavirus Global Response Initiative and Global Citizen's campaign to help develop critical treatments and a vaccine as quickly as possible, and ensure that everyone in the world has access to them. COVID-19 is a global threat, and the only way to overcome it is for us all to come together.”

Dr. Richard Hatchett, CEO of CEPI (Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations): “Vaccines, treatments and tests which are accessible to those who need them most are our global exit strategy from the COVID-19 pandemic. Global commitments to fund the urgent development of these tools, and make them globally accessible, are key to ending this pandemic, saving lives, and reviving economies. CEPI is pleased to support the European Commission and Global Citizen Global Goal: Unite For Our Future campaign to ensure COVID-19 vaccines, treatments and tests are available for everyone, everywhere.”

Dr. Seth Berkley, CEO, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance: “COVID-19 is a global issue that requires a global solution; no single government, agency or organization can beat this pandemic alone. Manufacturing and distributing vaccines to everyone will require close international cooperation and significant financial investments to ensure vaccines can be supplied equitably to all affected areas, including the poorest countries of the world. With President Von der Leyen and Global Citizen, we have one Global Goal: Unite for our Future!”

Dr. Catharina Boehme, CEO, FIND: “Every dollar we invest today in developing the right tests, in building the capacity needed to administer them, and in the resources to procure and deploy them, is an investment in a safer future for everyone, everywhere. We stand with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Global Citizen, to ensure the Global Goal: Unite For Our Future campaign delivers on the promise of testing to avoid repeated lockdowns across the world, and enable fast deployment of a vaccine as soon as we have one.”

 Dr. Philippe Duneton, Unitaid Executive Director a.i.:“We certainly need vaccines against COVID-19, but they will not be ready for many months. We also need basic science to better understand how to defeat this virus. And right now, at least as soon as possible, we need new treatments and better and faster diagnostics to fight it, until we can control the coronavirus by a vaccine. And we need solutions that work in low- and middle income countries, those with weaker public health systems.”

Peter Alexander Sands, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Executive Director: “In the fight against COVID-19, we must leave no one behind. Diagnostics, treatments and a vaccine must be made available to everyone, and frontline health workers, who are risking their lives daily to save others, must be protected everywhere. There is a real risk that COVID-19 could entirely derail efforts to fight AIDS, TB and malaria, with the indirect death toll massively outweighing deaths caused directly by the virus. Only a global response can beat a global pandemic and we are proud to partner with Global Citizen as we unite to fight COVID-19 and create a safer world for all.”

Elizabeth M. Cousens, President and CEO of the United Nations Foundation: “COVID-19 is a textbook case of a global problem that needs the world to work together and quickly. We've seen that happen at scale through the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, the first and only way for individuals, corporations and philanthropies to contribute directly to the global response led by WHO, and the fastest way to get resources where they are needed. The UN Foundation is proud to partner once again with Global Citizen to support the World Health Organization and its work to develop a vaccine and therapeutics, and to deliver supplies and assistance where they are most desperately needed.”


The Coronavirus Global Response – Questions and Answers

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