BRUSSELS – The European Commission is holding a pledging summit and virtual concert with artists including Shakira and Justin Bieber on Saturday to raise funds towards a COVID-19 vaccine.
The event, organized in conjunction with Global Citizen, is part of the “Global Goal: Unite For Our Future” campaign.
It came in the wake of the “Coronavirus Global Response” pledging event which was hosted by the EC on May 4 and registered €7.4 billion in pledges from donors around the world.
The president of the EC, Ursula von der Leyen, said in a statement: “We will only end this pandemic when it has been ended everywhere.
“For that, we need to invest in producing vaccines at unprecedented speed and scale. And we need to make this vaccine affordable.
“A task of this size can only happen if the world unites.”
The world donor summit will begin at 1300 GMT and will feature interventions by United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg and United Kingdom leader Boris Johnson.
Donations so far include €6.5 billion from the European Union, €762 million from Japan, €551 million from Canada, €457 million from Saudi Arabia, €205 million from Australia, €45 million from China, €54 million from Israel and €45 million from South Korea.
It will be followed by a virtual concert that will take place from 1800 GMT with performances by artists including Shakira, Coldplay, Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, Usher, Jennifer Hudson, J Balvin, Chloe x Halle, Yemi Alade, Christine and the Queens and the Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestra.
The concert will be broadcast live on television and streamed online on the Coronavirus Global Response website as well as other platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Youtube.
Singer Shakira said in a statement: “Global citizens around the world are calling on world leaders to help bring an end to COVID-19 by urging them to commit the billions of dollars needed to deliver testing, treatments, and vaccines to everyone, everywhere.
“We need health equity and global justice, and we know that only by uniting to fight for the world we want can we build back toward a healthier future for all.”
The campaign is part of the Coronavirus Global Response, a global campaign for universal access to affordable coronavirus vaccination, treatment and testing.
It is the EC’s response to a call to action from the World Health Organization to governments and partner organizations for accessible COVID-19 medicine.