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Statement by President Cyril Ramaphosa at the coronavirus global response pledging conference

Your Excellencies, Heads of State and Government,

On behalf of the African Union, I convey my appreciation to the European Union and the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board for convening this pledging conference in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is a health emergency of truly global proportions, yet developing countries are particularly vulnerable to its impact. 

We require coordinated and consistent international action so that all countries are sufficiently capacitated.

We call on all countries to make tangible commitments to bolster the global effort, but in particular to support countries that bear the brunt of poverty, inequality and underdevelopment. 

Africa has responded to the coronavirus pandemic with urgency and purpose. 

The African Union has established a COVID-19 Response Fund to direct resources towards the continent’s response. To date, a total of $61 million has been committed to the Fund and to support the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

As a continent, African countries are supporting each other through regional coronavirus task forces to oversee screening, detection and diagnosis; infection prevention and control.
South Africa is making significant investments in science and innovation to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, and is participating in several research initiatives with partners across the world and to support African researchers. 

We pledge the capacities and facilities of South Africa’s Biovac Institute, to support the global effort to develop, manufacture and distribute a COVID-19 vaccine.  

In addition to the investments we have made to these and other research initiatives, South Africa is committing an amount of $1.3 million (or €1.2 million) at this historic pledging conference. 

Now, more than ever, the world needs solidarity and cooperation to mobilise and guide investments, and drive delivery towards equitable access for new COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines. 

Working together, we shall overcome this pandemic.

I thank you.