Greece is among dozens of nations that will help bankroll research into new treatments and a vaccination against the deadly novel coronavirus, pledging 3 million euros to the cause during a fundraising event on Monday.
The Coronavirus Global response tele-marathon was organized by the European Union, non-EU states Britain and Norway, as well as Japan, Canada and Saudi Arabia, among others, and raised initial pledges worth 7.4 billion euros in total.
Governments aim to raise funds over several weeks or months, building on efforts by the World Bank, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and wealthy individuals – hoping to turn the page on the haphazard initial response around the world, Reuters said.
“The world has shown it is standing closer together than ever before,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in her opening remarks.
“We have been relatively successful in ‘flattening the curve,’ but we all know that we will not be completely safe unless a vaccination is discovered,” Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in comments.
“I gladly offer 3 million euros to our joint effort, on top of the Greek institutions and private foundations that have already made significant contributions to the fight against Covid-19 and will also actively contribute to this global call,” he added.
The EU pledged 1 billion euros and Germany contributed over 500 million euros. The United States, which has the world’s most confirmed cases of the Covid-19 disease, did not take part, Reuters reported.