Saudi Arabia Pledges $500 Million to Fight COVID-19
Recently, in order to support global efforts in combating the COVID-19 pandemic, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia pledged $500 million. Also, it called on all countries, charitable institutions, private sector, and the non-governmental organizations to help close a financing gap which is estimated by the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board (GPMB) to be over $8 billion to combat the pandemic.
Saudi Arabia’s novel pledge comes as a response to the commitment it had made during the Extraordinary G20 Leaders Summit, held recently. The Kingdom pledged the $500 million to relevant international organizations to support their efforts in fighting the pandemic. The funds are expected to be utilized for purchase of therapeutics and vaccines, pay for emergency response and preparedness, development of new diagnostics, and ensuring adequate supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) for health workers.
Of the $500 million, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness and Innovation (CEPI) will get $150 million; the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations (GAVI) will receive $150 million; and $200 million will be allocated to other health organizations and programs.
Appreciating Saudi Arabia’s novel gesture during this difficult time, the World Health Organization’s Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, “I express my great gratitude to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and to the Saudi people for their great generosity by donating $500 million, in response to plan to combat the Coronavirus, hoping the rest of the G20 members to follow King Salman’s step”.