File: The novel coronavirus has killed at least 680,000 people and infected at least 17.6 million since the outbreak emerged in China last December
GENEVA - The World Health Organization hailed the billions of euros raised Monday during a teleconference of world leaders to boost the development of a coronavirus vaccine as a strong show of "global solidarity".
"This was a powerful and inspiring demonstration of global solidarity," WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual briefing, of the 7.4 billion euros ($8.1 billion) raised towards the development and distribution of a vaccine for the virus that causes COVID-19.
Monday's teleconference, which was hosted by the European Commission, almost hit the target of 7.5 billion euros for the search for a vaccine to protect against COVID-19, and especially to ensure equitable distribution once one is developed.
"This is an opportunity for the world to come together to confront a common threat, but also to forge a common future," Tedros said.
He stressed that the money raised would only cover part of the ongoing response against the pandemic, which has killed nearly 250,000 people out of the more than 3.5 million recorded infections globally.
"In the weeks and months ahead, we will need much more to meet the demand for personal protective equipment, medical oxygen and other essential supplies," he said.