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‘We welcome this joint international effort to combat the COVID-19 pandemic,’ said Prime Minister Erna Solberg, following the Coronavirus Global Response pledging conference hosted by the European Commission. The event marked the start of a global initiative whose initial aim is to raise EUR 7,5 billion to accelerate the development, production and distribution of vaccines, treatments and tests for COVID-19. Norway has announced contributions totalling NOK 13 billion in connection with the conference.
‘Today’s event is the start of a global movement unlike anything we have seen before. The COVID-19 pandemic is a global threat that requires a united global response. Governments, civil society, the UN and the major global health actors must cooperate to ensure effective action and equitable solutions. The summit is a clear sign that this is possible. I am pleased to see that the world can come together like this and pledge to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. This combined effort, carried out in a spirit of international solidarity, is a historic event,’ Ms Solberg said.
This year, the Norwegian Government has decided to increase its support for COVID-19 vaccine development under the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) by NOK 2.236 billion. Norway had previously announced funding of NOK 1.6 billion for the period 2017-2025. At the summit today, the Prime Minister announced a new contribution of USD 1 billion to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, for the period 2021-2030.
‘Norway has a long tradition of investing in the development and distribution of vaccines and has been an important stakeholder in Gavi since it was established in 2000. Gavi will have a key role to play in ensuring that a COVID-19 vaccine, once it has been developed, is distributed fairly. This is one of the reasons we are increasing our support,’ Ms Solberg said.
Norway’s contribution accounts for approximately 10 % of Gavi’s funding portfolio. In the current funding period, support provided by Norway alone will make it possible to vaccinate 30 million children and prevent between 500 000 and 600 000 deaths.
Prime Minister Erna Solberg co-chaired today’s Coronavirus Global Response pledging conference, together with heads of state and government from countries including the UK, Germany, Japan, Saudi Arabia, France and Canada. The conference was hosted by President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen.
Together with a group of countries and key stakeholders, the World Health Organization (WHO) has launched a common vision of what this global concerted effort is intended to achieve. Norway is one of the supporters, and pledged a contribution of NOK 50 million to WHO at the summit today.
‘The role of the World Health Organization in setting norms and coordinating international efforts is vital. We cannot combat a pandemic without it. WHO has our full support and confidence,’ Ms Solberg said.
The commitment to leave no one behind in the global response will be at the heart of efforts to develop a system for equitable access to vaccines and treatments. The 2030 Agenda and the goal of achieving universal health coverage are crucial in this context. The Prime Minister repeated how important it is to ensure equitable access to vaccines and other products and for countries to commit to a global system for this.
‘Norway will also seek to mobilise political support from other countries to accelerate equitable access to vaccines. We must develop and commit to a global system that provides equitable access to vaccines, treatments and effective diagnostics. As long as the virus exists anywhere in the world, we are all vulnerable,’ Ms Solberg said.
The Coronavirus Global Response initiative, which was kick-started with today’s pledging conference, will last until 23 May, when another virtual event will be held. There are high expectations that the goal of raising EUR 7,5 billion will have been achieved by that time.
Read more about the conference here: