President Simonetta Sommaruga presents Swiss position at COVID-19 conference
Bern, 04.05.2020 - On Monday, 4 May, President Simonetta Sommaruga represented Switzerland at a pledging video conference devoted to the COVID-19 crisis. The video conference was hosted by the European Union (EU) in collaboration with a number of European and non-European states. The aim is to fund the Corona Global Response to help overcome the pandemic.
The ‘Corona Global Response’ aims to reach a target of EUR 7.5 billion in the coming weeks to purchase diagnostics equipment and develop, produce and distribute medication and vaccines against COVID-19. At the end of April, the World Health Organization (WHO) and other global health organisations launched a joint call for action for fast, safe and globally accessible measures against the pandemic.
In her statement, Ms Simonetta Sommaruga stressed the importance of ensuring that countries worldwide have access to diagnostics, therapeutics and, at a later stage, also vaccines. She also called for greater solidarity beyond the health sphere, stating that it would serve little purpose to save people from a pandemic, only to let them die of poverty and hunger afterwards.
In response to the international call for action, Switzerland will contribute a total of around CHF 400,000 million towards efforts to combat COVID-19 and its consequences. The Federal Council reached this decision on 29 April. Half of this amount will be released in the form of an interest-free loan to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to help reduce the humanitarian impact of the pandemic. A total of CHF 25 million has been earmarked for the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT) of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). So far CHF 18 million has been set aside for the World Health Organization (WHO), the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation (CEPI) and to speed up the search for medication. The Federal Council will decide how it wishes to allocate further funding in the coming weeks.
Address for enquiries
DETEC Information Service: Géraldine Eicher, +41 79 211 30 52
General Secretariat of the Federal Department of Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications; General Secretariat DETEC