Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. RollingNews.ie photo.
By Irish Echo Staff
The world is chipping in for a cure.
World leaders have launched a pledging "marathon" to raise at least €7.5 billion for research into a possible vaccine and treatments for coronavirus.
Ireland has committed €18 million to the fund, according to a report today by RTE.
Organizers of the donor event include the European Union, the UK and Norway, as well as Japan, Canada and Saudi Arabia. The United States is not participating.
China, where the virus originated in December, is only represented by its ambassador to the EU, stated the report.
And it added: Governments aim to raise funds over several weeks or months, building on efforts by the World Bank, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and wealthy individuals and turn the page on the fractious and haphazard initial response around the world.
In a video message announcing Ireland’s participation, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said: "The only way we can defeat a global threat is by working together on a multilateral basis. Ireland and the European Union are committed to doing exactly that.
"Working together we can develop an effective vaccine, effective treatments, testing systems that work, diagnostics and therapeutics. Ireland wants to play its part in this effort.
"Sooner or later we will defeat this virus. We will develop the vaccine that prevents it and the medicines that treat the disease. It is really important that nobody in the world is left out when that happens.”
A separate Irish government statement said: “Today’s pledge brings the total that Ireland has already committed to combat Covid-19 to €78 million. This will support the vital work of multilateral institutions including the World Health Organisation, UNICEF and the UN Central Emergency Response Fund, and will assist NGOs and bilateral partners, including Tanzania, Malawi, Uganda and Ethiopia.”