Country to pledge €10M at EU’s Coronavirus Global Response conference

  • Lusa
  • 4 May 2020

Portugal's prime minister announced that the country is to make a contribution totalling 10 million euros to the Coronavirus Global Response international pledging conference.

Portugal’s prime minister, António Costa, announced on Monday that the country is to make a public and private contribution totalling 10 million euros to the Coronavirus Global Response international pledging conference being organised by the European Commission later in the day.

Of the total, Costa said, 1.55 million euros is to come from the government and 8.45 million euros from non-state companies and institutions. The goal is to speed up the development of the vaccine and treatments for the disease, he said during a session on the initiative at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon.

With this initiative, the European Commission has said, it aims to join together the efforts of governments, entrepreneurs, foundations and citizens of the European Union to raise 7.5 billion euros. The funds, according to the commission, are to be used to “accelerate the development, production and equitable access to vaccines, diagnostics and treatments” for Covid-19.

At the beginning of his speech, before an audience of some of Portugal’s leading businesspeople and bankers, Costa thanked them for their response to Portugal’s call for a significant participation in the donors’ conference planned on Monday afternoon.

“On behalf of the ten million Portuguese, this afternoon we will participate with ten million euros in the European effort for the global response in the fight against Covid-19,” the prime minister declared.

According to the government, “besides a significant financial contribution, bringing together the public and private sectors, national research and development centres and the pharmaceutical industry are prepared to join international partnerships in the three areas covered by the initiative.”

Under the Global Coronavirus Response initiative, partnerships are to take place in three phases: research, production and distribution.

Of the donations from companies and foundations, those of Energias de Portugal and EPAL, the national water company, are the largest, with 750,000 euros each, followed by the Gulbenkian Foundation, Apifarma (Portuguese Association of the Pharmaceutical Industry), the National Pharmacies Association, banks Santander Totta Bank, BPI, Caixa Geral de Depósitos, Millennium BCP and Novo Banco, and retail groups Sonae and Jerónimo Martins and the latter’s Sociedade Francisco Manuel dos Santos – all with 500,000 euros.

Galp Energia is donating 300,000 euros, and the Aga Khan Portugal Foundation, Champalimaud Foundation and Manuel António da Mota Foundation 250,000 euros each.

In terms of private healthcare companies, Mello Saúde is offering 150,000 euros, as is Luz Saúde and Multicare, while United Health, Hospital Lusíadas is donating 100,000 euros.