European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced Thursday a new global fundraising campaign to finance the development and worldwide distribution of testing, vaccines and treatments against COVID-19, seeking to ensure they are equally shared.
In an address from EU headquarters in Brussels, von der Leyen said the new effort — called "Global Goal: Unite for Our Future" — is meant to raise tens of billions of dollars with private and public donations. It would feature a month of fundraising and awareness, culminating with a June 27 pledging summit featuring businesses, foundations and citizens. She said 15 governments have also pledged their support.
The new initiative follows another EU-led global campaign for the same goal which in less than a month raised nearly $11 billion, more than half of it from EU nations and institutions. The U.S. did not participate.
The EU is increasingly taking a role as a champion of global cooperation while the United States and China, which have the world's largest economies, favor national initiatives.
The new campaign, which is being launched in cooperation with international advocacy organization Global Citizen, illustrates the need for funds to develop and make vaccines and treatments available for everyone.