Leaders pledge 8.8 billion dollars to fund global vaccine drive Jun 05, 2020 0 397 12345 DPALONDONInternational leaders on Thursday pledged 8.8 billion dollars at a donor summit for vaccine programmes to help the world’s poorest nations, exceeding their funding target.While the world’s attention is on the COVID-19 pandemic, the Vaccine Alliance, or Gavi, summit sought at least 7.4 billion dollars to also protect against polio, typhoid, measles and other diseases.“Together, we have replenished this alliance and here comes the number you’ve been waiting for: We have secured a fantastic 8.8 billion dollars for Gavi’s vital work over the next five years,” said British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who hosted the event over video conference.Johnson said Britain will give 1.65 billion pounds (2.08 billion dollars) to the programme over the next five years.Germany and France each promised 600 million euros (679 million dollars), while other major pledges included 600 million dollars by Canada, 300 million euros by the European Union and 300 million dollars by Japan.“Let’s fortify this life-saving alliance and inaugurate a new era of global health cooperation, which I believe is now the most essential shared endeavour of our lifetimes,” Johnson said in his opening speech to more than 50 leaders.“It’s an amazing fact that every year, Gavi and its partners help immunise around half of all newborn children, protecting more than 760 million infants in the last two decades, and saving over 13 million lives,” he said.Gavi is supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Health Organization, Unicef and the World Bank.It wants to use the funds to maintain immunisation programmes in developing nations, mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and strengthen health systems “so that countries are ready to rapidly introduce COVID-19 vaccines.” It aims to increase the number of children immunised through its programmes to more than 1.1 billion by 2025. Pages 123 RELATED ARTICLES Trump trying to ‘divide’ America, says ex-Pentagon chief Mattis Jun 05, 2020 0 3895 Brazil, Mexico see record deaths as virus rages across LatAm Jun 05, 2020 0 1929 Russian ecosystem needs decade to recover from massive diesel spill Jun 05, 2020 0 1327 France cancels Bastille Day parade, replaces with tribute to health workers AFP Paris France on Thursday cancelled the 2020 Bastille Day military parade due to coronavirus social distancing requirements, replacing it with a tribute to health workers fighting the pandemic. Rather than the .. France to transform surplus wine into hand sanitiser PARIS: French winemakers will transform wine that went unsold during the country’s two-month coronavirus lockdown into hand sanitiser and ethanol to make room for the next harvest, a farming agency said on Thursday. .. Trudeau says Canada winning virus fight, advises caution OTTAWA: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declared on Thursday that Canada is winning the fight against the new coronavirus, with the latest data showing new cases in decline. But he also warned that the battle is not over .. Britain to require face coverings on public transport from June 15 LONDON: Britain will require passengers to wear masks or other face coverings on public transport from June 15 to curb the spread of coronavirus, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said on Thursday, a move that a trade .. Bill Gates ‘disappointed’ by US withdrawal from WHO DPA New York Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates has said he is “disappointed” by the United States’ withdrawal from the World Health Organization (WHO) amid the coronavirus pandemic. Gates would .. Twitter refuses to rule out suspending Trump’s account LONDON: A top Twitter executive on Thursday refused to rule out suspending Donald Trump’s account if the US president continued posting incendiary messages such as those about the George Floyd protests. Trump has .. Pompeo presses allies to fund Islamic State fight despite budget crunch AFP Washington US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday urged allies to make up a shortfall in funding to defeat the Islamic State movement despite a budget crunch after the devastation of the coronavirus pandemic. .. Protesters welcome new charges in Floyd killing but remain in streets AFP Minneapolis US protesters welcomed new charges brought on Wednesday against Minneapolis officers in the killing of African American man George Floyd -- but thousands still marched in cities across the country for a ..