Coronavirus: virtual summit leads to $3 billion in additional funding

A virtual international summit devoted to Covid-19 led to new financial commitments of more than 3 billion dollars on Thursday, announced the White House, which is struggling for its part to finance its own policy to fight against the pandemic.

Of this sum, 2 billion dollars will go to the “immediate” response to the pandemic, and 962 million dollars will go to a fund of the World Bank, intended for the prevention of future pandemics, according to the American executive.

The United States has announced to increase its participation in this fund by 200 million dollars, which brings the total American contribution to 450 million.

As the United States crossed the threshold of one million deaths the same day, the White House called for “not to give in to complacency and to maintain a strong political will”.

In a joint statement, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Joe Biden also promised to work together to solve the logistical problems around the administration of vaccines given to poor countries.

The summit was co-hosted by the United States, alongside Germany (current president of the G7) and Indonesia (current president of the G20), Senegal for the African Union, and Belize for Caricom (Caribbean countries).

It follows a first edition in September.

The American president then urged other countries to invest in order to reach 70% of people vaccinated in each country in one year.

But this time, he presented himself weakened: he did not manage to obtain from Congress the financing which he needs.

Joe Biden has asked parliamentarians to vote $22.5 billion in emergency funding for Covid, including $5 billion for international use. The United States has already sent 500 million doses to more than 100 countries.

The negotiations in Congress have reached, at this stage, a new envelope of 10 billion, without funds intended for vaccination in the world.

On Capitol Hill, the opposition has been particularly critical of funds going to other countries.

Without additional funding, “the United States will not be able to buy new treatments that can save the lives of Americans. The United States will be less able to limit the spread of new variants from all over the world. The United States will be less able to continue to vaccinate the world (…) to save lives here and elsewhere, ”warned the White House.

In his press release announcing the crossing of the threshold of one million deaths on Thursday, Joe Biden also declared that it was “essential” that Congress continue to support efforts to fight the pandemic.

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