Expert comment - Peter Piot on importance of EU pledging conference

The global coronavirus pandemic requires a global response. The world quickly needs to develop and deploy effective diagnostics, treatments and a vaccine. Without them, every country in the world remains vulnerable. Countries and organisations around the world are joining forces to ensure that not only do we develop these life-saving tools but that we ensure they are universally available and affordable. No person, country or region should be left behind.

The European Union and its partners are hosting an international pledging conference starting on Monday 4 May 2020 with the aim of to raising €7.5 billion in initial funding to kick-start the global cooperation. 

Professor Peter Piot, Director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Special Advisor to the President of the European Commission on research and innovation for COVID-19, said:

"Today’s extraordinary global pledging event marks a momentous step in our fight against COVID-19. Only science and innovation can provide a real exit strategy from this pandemic, and political leadership is critical to accelerate the development, production, and equitable access to all new vaccines, diagnostics, and treatments. This enormous global effort requires resources and coordination at an unprecedented scale.

"My thanks to the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, for her leadership convening this event to raise an initial €7.5 billion, and to the members of this unique and broad coalition involving all those who are part of the solution, and to everyone who is pledging to make this conference a success.

"There is no doubt that COVID-19 is the greatest challenge of our time. It is not over anywhere, until it is over everywhere. This is why we must come together as a global community, armed with the best science and innovation to end this pandemic for all."

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