Trudeau pledges $300 million to health, global fight against COVID-19

Trudeau pledges $300 million to health, global fight against COVID-19

The new funds were announced Saturday morning in another virtual international fundraiser

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced Canada will contribute $300 million towards the international effort to battle COVID-19.

Trudeau announced the new funds this morning in another virtual international fundraiser — this one sponsored by an organization, Global Citizen, that is trying to raise $42.8 billion.

Trudeau says Canada will contribute $180 million to address the immediate humanitarian and development impacts of the pandemic.

And Canada will contribute $120 million towards a new initiative called the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, which was created in April by the World Health Organization, the French government, the European Commission and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to ensure equitable access to medical treatments.

The ACT Accelerator supports organizations, health professionals and businesses in their efforts to develop a vaccine, as well as drug therapies and diagnostic tools to battle the pandemic.

Canadian aid agencies and advocacy groups say the contribution will only be a fraction of what is eventually needed to fight the pandemic and to ensure that when a vaccine is developed it reaches poor countries that don’t have the ability to pay for it.