Bill and Melinda Gates call for collaboration, continued innovation to overcome challenges of delivering COVID-19 scientific breakthroughs to the world

Bill and Melinda Gates call for collaboration, continued innovation to overcome challenges of delivering COVID-19 scientific breakthroughs to the world

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on email
Email
Share on print
Print

Gates Foundation pledges additional $250 million to accelerate development and equitable distribution of COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines to end the pandemic

SEATTLE, United States of America, December 9, 2020, -/African Media Agency (AMA)/- The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation today announced it will commit an additional $250 million to support the research, development, and equitable delivery of lifesaving tools in the global effort against COVID-19. Marking the end of a year focused on the scientific breakthroughs needed to end the pandemic, the foundation calls for global commitments to making these innovations available in 2021 to everyone who needs them.

“Everyone, everywhere deserves to benefit from the science developed in 2020,” said Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Gates Foundation. “We are confident that the world will get better in 2021, but whether it gets better for everyone depends on the actions of the world’s leaders and their commitment to deliver tests, treatments, and vaccines to the people who need them, no matter where they live or how much money they have.”

Today’s commitment, the foundation’s largest single contribution to the COVID-19 response to date, builds on the partnerships and expertise it has established over the last 20 years. This funding will support continued innovation to develop tests, treatments, and vaccines that are easier to scale and deliver, to ensure there are many options that are less expensive and can be used in different settings. Today’s commitment will also support the delivery of new COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.

Getting these innovations to where they are needed will require the same level of planning, urgency, and collaboration it took to develop them. It will require manufacturing tests, doses of treatments, and vaccines quickly and safely; securing sufficient funding to buy and distribute them; organizing logistical infrastructure and supply chains; preparing clinics and health workers to administer them; and sharing accurate information with communities so people understand and trust what they are receiving. Part of today’s funding will enable countries to use cutting-edge technology and delivery systems to plan and implement the rollout of vaccines. It will also support efforts to engage communities in the process to increase trust and improve communication about new COVID-19 interventions.

“Thanks to the ingenuity of the global scientific community, we are achieving the exciting medical breakthroughs needed to end the pandemic,” said Bill Gates, co-chair of the Gates Foundation. “We have new drugs and more potential vaccines than we could have expected at the start of the year. But these innovations will only save lives if they get out into the world.”

As the world prepares to embark on a global logistical challenge previously unmatched in scale and complexity, it can draw on the expertise of global organizations like Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and the Global Fund, which have collaborated with governments to deliver vaccines, tests, and treatments against infectious diseases to people in lower-income countries for 20 years. “Fortunately, reaching people with lifesaving tools is something the world knows how to do,” said Melinda Gates.

“The next phase of fighting this pandemic will be much costlier than the initial development of safe and effective vaccines. Our commitment today is only a fraction of what is needed and will be focused on the areas where philanthropy can best add value,” said Gates Foundation CEO Mark Suzman. “Every institution with a role to play has to be generous now. Multilateral organizations, national governments, companies, and philanthropies-we all must invest in making sure the tests, drugs, and vaccines reach as many people as possible.”

Total COVID-19 commitments to date
Today’s announcement brings the foundation’s total commitments to the global COVID-19 response to $1.75 billion. This draws from three sources, including new funding commitments above the foundation’s planned annual program budget; at-risk financing from the foundation’s Strategic Investment Fund; and a portion of funds channeled from foundation programs where grantees identified urgent needs or had unique expertise to mitigate the effects of the pandemic. The total commitments include:

Newly allocated funding. The total funding commitment includes more than $680 million in new funds that were approved in light of the growing public health emergency, above the foundation’s planned 2020 giving. Examples include:

  • Today’s announced $250 million to continue the development of new COVID-19 vaccines, tests, and drugs and to ensure equitable, timely, and scaled delivery of these products
  • $50.2 million to help slow transmission by supporting global efforts to design and implement testing, tracing, and other urgent public health actions
  • $47.5 million to strengthen country-specific and regional responses in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia and help partners prepare health systems for rising cases
  • $311.7 million to fund the development, production, and procurement of new diagnostics, treatments, and vaccines for COVID-19, including:
  • $156 million to Gavi’s COVID-19 Vaccine Advance Market Commitment (COVAX AMC), which aims to ensure that COVID-19 vaccines are accessible and affordable in low- and middle-income countries once they are available
  • $20 million to advance additional candidate vaccines through the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI)
  • $50 million for the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator to evaluate existing drugs that could be repurposed for use during the pandemic and to scale new treatments for low- and middle-income countries
  • $24.9 million to alleviate the broader effects of the pandemic, such as economic recovery, education, poverty, and gender equality, including:
  • $5 million to support social service organizations in the greater Seattle area
  • $15 million to provide COVID-19 diagnostic testing infrastructure for up to 10 historically Black colleges and universities 

At-risk financing. The foundation has made available up to $750 million in volume guarantees, forgivable loans, and other at-risk financing from its Strategic Investment Fund to enable the rapid procurement of essential medical supplies and help companies finance the production of COVID-19 products for low- and middle-income countries, including:

  • Up to $300 million in forgivable loans to support the manufacturing of up to 200 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines for low- and middle-income countries
  • Up to $200 million in guarantees to support at-risk manufacturing of monoclonal antibody treatments for low- and middle-income countries
  • Up to $250 million in guarantees to help make affordable diagnostics available in low- and middle-income countries

The Strategic Investment Fund uses financial tools other than grants to stimulate private-sector innovation and address market challenges to scaling new health innovations in low- and middle-income countries. Any financial returns generated by the Strategic Investment Fund are re-invested in Gates Foundation philanthropic programs.

Channeled funding. Given the threat that COVID-19 presents to global health and development, several foundation grantees were uniquely positioned to leverage existing work and expertise to support the COVID-19 response. The foundation channeled more than $315 million from programs to support direct COVID-19 work, while continuing to support existing priorities. Although this is a significant amount, it is only a fraction of the approximately $5 billion that the foundation spends annually across its programs. Some examples include:

  • The team that supports the scale up of innovations funded an initiative to roll out the LumiraDx COVID-19 diagnostic platform and associated antigen rapid diagnostic tests in Africa, along with other donors.
  • Several teams provided supplemental funds to existing partners to support R&D for new COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines.
  • The team that supports the global delivery of health products provided support to several existing grantees for procurement and coordinating markets for personal protective equipment, respiratory care, and other COVID-19 health supplies.
  • We supported the Africa Medical Supplies Platform to help it purchase about 1 million courses of dexamethasone treatment for use in Africa.
  • The family planning team leveraged existing surveys to understand people’s needs and behaviors during COVID-19. While surveyors asked women and young people about contraceptive needs, they also asked about COVID-19 to inform policy responses.
  • The team that supports K-12 and higher education shifted funds to support emergency aid efforts at schools. This funding supported schools as they adapted to closures and provided support to families of low-income students who may have lost housing, food, or wages.


Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

About the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people-especially those with the fewest resources-have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, Washington, the foundation is led by CEO Mark Suzman, under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.


Media Contact: media@gatesfoundation.org

You might also enjoy

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get updates and learn from the best

Conférence de Presse en Ligne


Les frontiĂšres terrestres ne doivent pas constituer des obstacles Ă  la dissĂ©mination de votre message. GrĂące Ă  notre service de confĂ©rence de presse en ligne, nous vous offrons l’opportunitĂ© de vous rapprocher des mĂ©dias africains, chaque fois que vous en aurez besoin.​

Nos services comprennent:​

​

​

Digital Communications


Today, social networks constitute an organization’s first point of contact with a user and a potential customer. At first glance, you need to convince of the relevance and quality of your content to stimulate and motivate the user to go further. We create consistently inspiring online strategy to meet business objectives, engage stakeholders and enhance our client brand’s reputation internally and externally.​

 

Communication​ digitale


Les rĂ©seaux sociaux reprĂ©sentent aujourd’hui le premier point de contact d’une organisation avec un utilisateur et un client potentiel. Au premier coup d’Ɠil, vous devez le convaincre de la pertinence et de la qualitĂ© de votre contenu pour l’inciter Ă  aller plus loin. Nous crĂ©ons pour vous une stratĂ©gie de communication prĂ©cise et adaptĂ©e sur les rĂ©seaux sociaux pour atteindre les objectifs commerciaux, impliquer les parties prenantes et amĂ©liorer la rĂ©putation de votre marque en interne et en externe.​

Promotion​ d’Ă©vĂ©nements


Le succĂšs d’un Ă©vĂ©nement rĂ©side en moitiĂ© dans sa promotion. Peu importe la beautĂ© de l’évĂ©nement, la qualitĂ© des orateurs et de l’ordre du jour, si personne ne rapporte ou ne parle de votre Ă©vĂ©nement, vos efforts seront vains. Nous vous aidons Ă  façonner votre rĂ©cit et Ă  crĂ©er un engouement autour de votre Ă©vĂ©nement. De l’annonce de l’Ă©vĂ©nement Ă  la tenue de celui-ci, nous accompagnons votre effort de planification et le reflĂ©tons sur toutes les plateformes mĂ©diatiques.​

Formation​ MĂ©diatique


Nous fournissons Ă  vos porte-paroles les outils nĂ©cessaires pour prĂ©senter vos principaux messages et rĂ©pondre avec confiance et cohĂ©rence aux questions. Notre formation est organisĂ©e soit Ă  distance ou en prĂ©sentiel, avec des Ă©tudes de cas rĂ©els et des rĂ©pĂ©titions. Nos clients repartent avec le sentiment d’ĂȘtre Ă  l’aise devant les journalistes et d’agir en tant qu’ambassadeurs de la marque.​

Veille​ MĂ©diatique


Nous mesurons votre portĂ©e en relations publiques et rendons compte des informations de votre industrie et des activitĂ©s de vos  concurrents en surveillant la majoritĂ© des canaux de diffusion dans toute l’Afrique. Une veille mĂ©diatique complĂšte et opportune est essentielle pour s’assurer que vous ne manquez aucune rĂ©fĂ©rence Ă  votre marque, que vous ĂȘtes constamment informĂ© de ce qui se passe dans votre industrie et que vous ĂȘtes prĂȘt Ă  saisir les opportunitĂ©s et Ă  rĂ©duire les risques en temps opportun.​

Relations​ MĂ©dia


Peu importe le lieu oĂč ils se trouvent, nous sommes une source d‘informations fiables pour les journalistes qui Ă©crivent sur l’Afrique. Nous nous connaissons mutuellement et ils nous font confiance, car nous leur fournissons un contenu crĂ©dible qui les aide dans leurs tĂąches. Nous nous entretenons quotidiennement avec des journalistes aux quatre coins du continent, ce qui fait de nous l’un des organismes les plus efficaces pour mener des campagnes de relations avec les mĂ©dias.

Stratégie et développement de contenu


Nous crĂ©ons des stratĂ©gies de communication intelligentes, bien documentĂ©es et spĂ©cialisĂ©es destinĂ©es Ă  vous aider Ă  construire un rĂ©cit fort qui engagera votre audience. Nous travaillons en synergie avec vous afin de rĂ©diger des communiquĂ©s de presse et des articles d’opinions qui alimentent le rĂ©cit de votre entreprise. Notre Ă©quipe a une expĂ©rience approfondie dans la crĂ©ation de rĂ©cits et le dĂ©veloppement de contenu multimĂ©dia.

DIFFUSION DE COMMUNIQUES​ DE PRESSE​


C’est le service phare d’AMA. Nous avons mis en place des canaux de diffusion des communiquĂ©s de presse auprĂšs des journalistes des 54 États africains ainsi qu’auprĂšs des journalistes amĂ©ricains et europĂ©ens couvrant les sujets relatifs aux marchĂ©s Ă©mergents.​

​Nos services comprennent:​

​

​

Event Promotion


Half of the success of an event lays in its promotion. Doesn’t matter how beautiful the event is, how wonderful the speakers and the agenda are, if no one reports or talks about your event, your efforts are gone. We help you shape the narrative and create a drumbeat around your event. From the announce all the way to the outcome of the event, we accompany your planning effort and echo it through all media platforms

Media Training


We provide your spokespeople with the tools to present your key messages and answer questions with confidence and coherence. Our training is organised either remotely or face-to- face, with real case studies and rehearsals. Our clients leave feeling comfortable being in front of reporters and acting as brand ambassadors.

Media Monitoring


We measure and report on
your PR reach, industry news, and competitive activity by monitoring most channels in North, West, Central, East and Southern Africa. Comprehensive and timely media monitoring is critical to ensuring that you don’t miss any reporting of your brand,
you’re constantly informed on what’s going on around your business, and you’re ready to capitalise on opportunities and mitigate
risks in a timely fashion..

Media Relations


We have become an authoritative source of news for reporters writing about Africa, wherever they are. We know them, they know us, and they trust us for providing them with timely and accurate content that helps them do their job. We speak to reporters on a daily basis in all corners of the continent and this makes us one of the most effective agencies in running media relations campaigns.

Strategy & Content Development


We create smart and localised communications strategies to help build a strong narrative that will engage your audiences. We partner with you to create press releases and thought leadership pieces that sustain a drumbeat for your company’s narrative. Our team have deep experience in shaping narratives and developing media content.

PRESS RELEASE WIRE DISTRIBUTION

This is AMA’s flagship service. We have set up channels of distribution towards the journalists of the 54 African states, as well as to American journalists and European journalists covering emerging markets issues.
Our service includes:

Editorial advice

Localised editorial piece when needed

Distribution to the major print, broadcast and online publications along with industry-specific publications

Follow-up calls to secure interview request

Guaranteed distribution to Africa.com

Distribution to Bloomberg, LexisNexis and Thomson Reuters

Social Media Reach: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram

Full online monitoring and print monitoring when available. Includesreadership stats and Advertising Value Equivalent

Translation in French, Arabic and Portuguese available