The government has approved the allocation of CHF175 million ($180.3 million) to help secure universal access to diagnostic and therapeutic products and boost humanitarian assistance in the developing world.
Of this sum, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation has already given CHF52 million to organisations including the United Nations and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, and as bilateral aid in the form of rescue supplies for crisis-hit regions.
The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation has received CHF10 million for its search for a vaccine against the new coronavirus.
Among the new aid beneficiaries revealed on Wednesday are Gavi, a Geneva-based alliance that distributes vaccines in developing countries. It is set to receive CHF30 million. Switzerland is also making contributions to the Wellcome Trust Foundation and the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics, which facilitate access to Covid-19 diagnostic and therapeutic products in the developing world.
The government is also providing an additional CHF50 million to step up humanitarian assistance in response to appeals from international organisations and to support bilateral aid projects.
A final CHF2.5 million will go to the World Health Organization (WHO).
The CHF175 million are part of an international aid package totalling CHF400 million announced two weeks ago to fight the pandemic. The government had already decided to issue half of that amount as an interest-free loan to the International Committee of the Red Cross and to make a contribution to the disaster fund of the International Monetary Fund.
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