Urgent funding gaps in the global response to coronavirus (COVID-19)

At least $8 billion of new funding is needed for the global response to coronavirus (COVID-19). Funding committed so far by countries and international financial institutions will help governments to take national action and bolster economies. But urgent gaps remain, especially in funding research and development and public health measures.

Where the funding is needed

This new funding should be directed to a global response for:

  • developing new vaccines, treatments and diagnostics quickly and at scale, so they can be available to people that need them
  • fully funding the World Health Organization (WHO) to coordinate and prioritise support efforts to the most vulnerable countries
  • ensuring sufficient supplies of protective equipment for health workers.

There are no treatments or vaccines for coronavirus disease (COVID-19). We need to develop them now as an investment in the future health of the world. There is no time to waste, as research during an epidemic is the best time to determine the effectiveness of a vaccine or treatment. Mobilising these financial resources is an urgent priority for G20 countries, philanthropy and the private sector.

How would $8 billion be spent?

How much funding has been pledged? 

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How to support global research and development efforts

To get ahead of this pandemic, we need a global effort in research to develop vaccines and treatments. The organisations that are coordinating this response are:

  • CEPI, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, for COVID-19 vaccines. An estimated $2 billion is needed for development and $1 billion for manufacturing and distribution to meet CEPI’s goal of making hundreds of millions of vaccine doses available through a global fair allocation system. Germany recently pledged 140 million Euro for CEPI, but this is not enough to proceed at speed. To find out about how to invest in CEPI contact invest@cepi.net.
  • The COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator, recently launched to speed the development of and access to treatments. An estimated $2.25 billion is needed to meet the goal of making 100 million courses of treatments available. Wellcome, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Mastercard have together provided $125 million of seed funding, and more money is urgently needed. To find out about how to invest in the accelerator or access funding contact therapeuticsaccelerator@gatesfoundation.org.   

Businesses can join the COVID-Zero global coalition, organised by Wellcome, to donate and advocate for closing the initial $8 billion funding gap. Find out how to join.

Why it’s important

The COVID-19 pandemic is moving at an unprecedented speed and placing huge demands on health systems globally. This is more than a health crisis – it is an issue for the whole society. It could cost the global economy more than $1 trillion in lost output, or 1.3% of global GDP. It is causing social disruption – with the closure of schools and businesses, and the disruption of supply chains – and impacting everyday life.

The costs of inaction or responding slowly are significant – both for lives and livelihoods everywhere. Investing now will significantly reduce these costs.

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