G-20 launches initiative for health tools needed to combat the coronavirus

RIYADH (REUTERS) – The group of 20 rich and emerging economies on Sunday( April 26) launched an international initiative to accelerate access to health tools needed to fight the new coronavirus.

The finance minister of Saudi Arabia, the current G-20 chair, said the group is still working to bridge an estimated US$8 billion (S$11.4 billion) funding gap to combat the pandemic.

“The G-20 will continue reinforcing global cooperation on all fronts, and most importantly, on closing the immediate health financing gap,” the minister, Mohammed al-Jadaan, said in a statement launching the “Access to Covid-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator” initiative.

He added that “the international community is still facing extraordinary uncertainty about the depth and duration of this health crisis”, the statement said.

Saudi Arabia earlier this month pledged US$500 million (S$711 million) to support global efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic. In the statement, it repeated its call on all countries, non-governmental organisations, philanthropists and the private sector to help close the financing gap.

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