Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would be pledging $60 million toward global efforts to develop therapies, diagnostic kits, and ultimately, a vaccine for COVID-19.
“We hope to work with other countries to leverage our unique capabilities to find solutions for the benefit of all,” Netanyahu told a forum of leaders led by EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Monday.
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The Israeli government, he said, was trying to balance between public health and keeping the infection rate contained, and lifting restrictions to reopen the economy.
Netanyahu said that to “ensure both the public health and national prosperity, we must all work together on improving diagnostics, accelerating therapies and ultimately developing a vaccine.”
“I am confident that Israel’s leading research institutions, its world-renowned scientists and our unique culture of innovation can enable us to play an important role in advancing solutions on all three fronts,” he added.
Among the participating heads of government and ministers in the forum were French President Emanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, Japanese PM Shinzo Abe, Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, Italian PM Giuseppe Conte, Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez, British PM Boris Johnson, Australian PM Scott Morrison, Jordanian King Abdullah II, Omani Health Minister Dr. Ahmed Al-Saidi, Saudi Arabian Health Minister Dr. Tawfiq bin Fawzan Al-Rabiah, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, and World Economic Forum Chairman Klaus Schwab.
The group is trying to raise $11 billion collectively.
The European Commission has pledged $1.09 billion, Britain pledged $482 million, Canada pledged $850 million, Japan promised over $830 million, Saudi Arabia said it would put forward $500 million, according to Radio Canada International.