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COVID-19 pandemic response and future epidemic preparedness get financial boost

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Wellcome Trust have each pledged US$150 million for a total of US$300 million to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), a global partnership aiming to support a 5-year plan to better prepare for, prevent, and equitably respond to future epidemics and pandemics. 

The duo investments from the Gates Foundation and Wellcome Trust represent a 50% increase from the commitments they made to CEPI in 2017. 

Jointly announcing the pledge on 18 January 2022, the two foundations urged world leaders to support CEPI to help end the COVID-19 crisis, prepare for future pandemics, and address epidemic threats. CEPI’s funding target for the anticipated response is $3.5 billion.

“As the world responds to the challenge of a rapidly evolving virus, the need to deliver new, lifesaving tools has never been more urgent,” said Bill Gates, co-chair of the Gates Foundation. “Our work over the past 20 years has taught us that early investment in research and development can save lives and prevent worst-case scenarios. Five years ago, following the Ebola and Zika epidemics, our foundation helped launch CEPI. Today, we’re increasing our commitment and pledging an additional $150 million to help CEPI accelerate the development of safe and effective vaccines against emerging variants of the coronavirus and to prepare for, and possibly even prevent, the next pandemic.”

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