The Global Vaccine Alliance (Gavi) has been pledged U.S. $8.8 billion during a one-day virtual summit meeting on Thursday organized by the United Kingdom.
The money pledged by dozens of sovereign governments, non-profit organizations and foundations will go towards the fight against COVID-19. Microsoft founder Bill Gates pledged over 100 million dollars from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Gates said that his foundation’s contribution was to ensure that a vaccine, once developed, would be available to everyone who needed it.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who hosted the meeting, described the search for a COVID-19 vaccine as “the greatest shared endeavor of our lifetimes”. It represented “the triumph of humanity over disease, now and for the generations to follow,” he said.
The leaders of Spain, Italy, Norway and Germany also participated in the summit, pledging significant sums towards the vaccine alliance.
Gavi was founded in 2000 with significant support and development from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. It also receives support from the World Bank, The World Health Organization and Unicef.
In a mission statement, Gavi said it had vaccinated 760 million children from the world’s poorest countries, saving 13 million deaths.
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