Canada is joining a global effort by chipping in $850 million in the fight against the coronavirus.
A number of countries — including Saudi Arabia, France, Germany, Britain, China, Turkey, and Canada — pledged funds during the virtual fundraising marathon to raise $7.5 billion euros or CAD$11.6 billion.
But the U.S. isn’t among the list of countries involved. It’s another example of the U.S. going its own way, after President Donald Trump said he would stop sending money to the World Health Organization on April 15th. Over the weekend, he said as many as 100,000 people in the U.S. could die of coronavirus.
The money is being raised for diagnostics, treatments and a vaccine for COVID-19.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was among the world leaders who spoke at the virtual conference. He also spoke about it during his daily update on COVID-19. He says the fight needs to extend beyond Canada’s borders to beat COVID-19 for good.
“The more we cooperate the more likely we find a cure and find it quickly and that’s something we all want to see.” said Trudeau.
Trudeau says the initial pledge is a beginning.
“And there will be more to come as the world grapples with this pandemic,” he said.
The federal government is earmarking more than $1 billion dollars for a national medical and research strategy in the fight against the coronavirus. Trudeau says if Canada is succesful in developing a vaccine, it and its formula will be shared with the rest of the world.
“But production of that vaccine will be extremely important right around the world as well,” he said.
“It can’t just be the wealthiest countries producing that vaccine for their citizens. We need to ensure there are systems in place so that the billions of people around the world who are vulnerable can get these vaccines as well.”
Jessy Bains is a senior reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada. Follow him on Twitter @jessysbains.