Following the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases globally, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has expanded its support in the fight against the pandemic with an additional $150 million.
According to findings, the additional funding brings the foundation’s commitment to the fight against COVID-19 to more than $250 million.
In a statement released on Thursday, the foundation said that the new funding will also provide partners in Africa and South Asia with resources to speed the rate of COVID-19 detection, treatment, and isolation efforts.
It was also gathered that the new fund is to help strengthen African and South Asian health systems, support development of diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines and help mitigate the social and economic impacts of the pandemic.
The Foundation said:
These funds, which can include equity investments, loans, and volume guarantees, will be used to help health systems in low- and middle-income countries facilitate the rapid procurement of personal protective equipment for healthcare workers, COVID-19 diagnostics, oxygen therapeutics, and other essential medical supplies,”
The funding is coming hours after the U.S, President, Donald Trump, suspended funding for the World Health Organisation, claiming that the agency “failed in its basic duty” by hiding vital information that allowed the pandemic to spread across the world.
Gates criticised the move by President Trump, saying that depriving the UN health agency of funds is risky especially at a time when the world is facing the health crisis caused by the pandemic.
The foundation, announcing the funding, called on world leaders to unite in a global response to COVID-19 to ensure equitable access to diagnostics, treatments, and vaccines.
Gates Foundation’s co-chair, Melinda Gates, said:
It is increasingly clear that the world’s response to this pandemic will not be effective unless it is also equitable.
We have a responsibility to meet this global crisis with global solidarity. In addition to contributing to the development of diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines, these funds will support efforts against COVID-19 in low-and-middle-income countries, where local leaders and healthcare workers are doing heroic work to protect vulnerable communities and slow the spread of the disease.