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Since January 2020, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has committed more than US$2 billion to the global COVID-19 response.
Our funding commitments for COVID-19 response draw from three sources: newly allocated funding beyond our annual program budgets, at-risk financing from the foundation’s Strategic Investment Fund, and program funding that has been redirected to pandemic response.
Newly allocated funding
We have allocated US$770 million in new funding in light of the growing public health emergency, including:
US$50 million to help slow COVID-19 transmission by supporting global efforts to design and implement viral testing, tracing, and other urgent public health actions
US$122 million to strengthen country-specific and regional responses in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia by helping our partners prepare health systems for rising COVID-19 cases
US$264 million to fund the development and production of new diagnostics, treatments, and vaccines for COVID-19, including:
US$20 million to advance additional candidate vaccines, through the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI)
US$50 million to the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator, to evaluate existing drugs that could be repurposed to treat COVID-19 and to scale up new treatments for use in low- and middle-income countries
US$309 million to ensure equitable, timely, and large-scale delivery of COVID-19 diagnostics, treatments, and vaccines, including:
US$200 million to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, to support COVID-19 vaccine purchasing through Gavi’s COVID-19 Vaccine Advance Market Commitment (COVAX AMC) as well as delivery of those vaccines to 92 lower-income countries
US$25 million to alleviate the broader effects of the pandemic by strengthening economic recovery, education, poverty alleviation, and gender equality efforts, including:
US$5 million to support social service organizations in the greater Seattle area
US$15 million to provide COVID-19 diagnostic testing infrastructure to up to 10 historically Black colleges and universities
We have made available up to US$920 million in volume guarantees, forgivable loans, and other financing to private-sector partners from our Strategic Investment Fund to enable rapid procurement of essential medical supplies and help companies finance the production of COVID-19 products for low- and middle-income countries, including:
Up to US$300 million in forgivable loans to support the manufacturing of up to 1.5 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines for low- and middle-income countries
Up to US$320 million in guarantees to support manufacturing of new treatments for use in low- and middle-income countries, including:
Up to US$120 million to accelerate access to low-cost supplies of molnupiravir for lower-income countries
Up to US$300 million in guarantees for procurement of vaccines, treatments, and diagnostics for low- and middle-income countries, including:
US$100 million in guarantees to Abbott Laboratories and SD Biosensor to make rapid antigen tests available in low- and middle-income countries at no more than US$5 per dose, resulting in 99 countries procuring 33 million of these rapid tests
A US$100 million guarantee to support UNICEF’s procurement of vaccines and health supplies for low- and middle-income countries
The Strategic Investment Fund uses financial tools other than grants to stimulate private-sector innovation and address market obstacles to scaling up new health innovations in low- and middle-income countries. Any financial returns generated by the Strategic Investment Fund are reinvested in our foundation’s philanthropic programs.
Redirected program funding
Several of our foundation grantees are uniquely positioned to apply their existing work and expertise to support the COVID-19 response. We have redirected more than US$315 million from our regular program budgets to support direct COVID-19 work while continuing to support existing priorities. Although this is a significant amount, it is only a fraction of the approximately US$5 billion that we spend annually across our programs.
Here are some examples of how this redirected program funding has been used:
The foundation team that focuses on scaling up innovations helped fund an initiative to roll out the LumiraDx COVID-19 diagnostic platform and associated rapid antigen tests in Africa.
Several foundation teams provided supplemental funds to existing grantees to support research and development on new COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines.
The foundation team that focuses on delivery of health products provided support to several existing grantees for procurement of personal protective equipment, respiratory supplies, and other COVID-19 health supplies and market coordination.
We provided support to the Africa Medical Supplies Platform to help it purchase about 1 million courses of dexamethasone treatment for use in Africa.
Our Family Planning team built on existing surveys of women and young people on their contraceptive needs, adding questions about needs and behaviors during COVID-19 in order to help inform policy responses.
Our K-12 and higher education teams redirected some program funds to support emergency aid efforts in schools, helping the schools adapt to pandemic-related closures and providing support to families of low-income students that may have lost housing, food, or wages.
Foundation consultants working on polio eradication in Africa and Pakistan supported COVID-19 efforts by applying skills used in polio eradication to aid in pandemic response, including by providing training for health care workers and helping to track vaccination data.
In addition to contributing program funding, teams and individuals across the foundation have provided technical assistance and expertise to organizations around the world, in areas such as vaccine manufacturing and delivery, clinical trials, supply chains, and data modeling and analytics. The foundation will continue to work with national governments, multilateral organizations, the private sector, and civil society organizations to lend our technical expertise, voice, and financial resources where they can be helpful in addressing the urgent needs expressed by our partners in low- and middle-income countries.
Revised January 12, 2022
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