Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation dedicates additional funding to Coronavirus response
The foundation will provide up to $100 million to improve detection, isolation and treatment efforts; protect at-risk populations in Africa and South Asia; and accelerate the development of vaccines, drugs and diagnostics
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced that it will immediately commit up to $100 million for the global response to the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). The funding will help strengthen detection, isolation and treatment efforts; protect at-risk populations; and develop vaccines, treatments and diagnostics. The new funding is inclusive of $10 million the foundation committed to the outbreak in late January.
“Multilateral organizations, national governments, the private sector and philanthropies must work together to slow the pace of the outbreak, help countries protect their most vulnerable citizens and accelerate the development of the tools to bring this epidemic under control,” said Gates Foundation CEO Mark Suzman, adding, “Our hope is that these resources will help catalyze a rapid and effective international response. This response should be guided by science, not fear, and it should build on the steps that the World Health Organization has taken to date.”
The Gates Foundation is contributing more resources – in close coordination with other donors – to assist the World Health Organization (WHO), Chinese frontline responders and others at the global and national levels. WHO declared the 2019-nCoV outbreak a public health emergency of international concern on January 30, citing the risks the virus poses globally and the need for a worldwide coordinated effort to enhance preparedness, especially in fragile settings. The Government of China has also declared a national public health emergency and mobilized a nationwide effort to contain the virus and treat those who are infected.
Accelerating 2019-nCoV Detection, Isolation and Treatment
The foundation will immediately commit up to $20 million to accelerate the detection, isolation and treatment of people diagnosed with the virus with the goal of interrupting transmission and containing the disease. This funding will be directed to multilateral organizations such as WHO and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Support will also be directed to national public health authorities in China and other countries that have reported confirmed cases. Current national-level partners include the National Health Commission of China and the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
The release of fast and flexible funding is intended to help multilateral organizations and national public health authorities rapidly scale up their virus detection capabilities and implement disease modeling analytics so that they can target resources where they can have the greatest impact in arresting disease spread. This funding is intended to help public health authorities cover the initial cost of labor and supplies while international agencies and national