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PM Boris Johnson co-hosts Coronavirus Global Response conference

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Today Prime Minister Boris Johnson virtually co-hosted the Coronavirus Global Response (CGP) international pledging conference opening.

The conference is 19 days long, concluding 23 May 2020, and aims to bring countries together in the fight against the virus, to develop and deploy effective diagnostics, treatments and a vaccine.

Also ensuring that the vaccine is widely available and affordable, pledging to see no one, no county, left behind.

An attempt is being made by the CGP, the EU and it partners to raise the €7.5bn ($8bn) that the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board says is needed to meet the diagnostics, treatments and vaccine aims.

The European Commission reports that nearly €6bn has been raised so far. As part of this total, Johnson today confirmed the UK's pledge of £388m, which forms part of an existing £744m UK aid commitment to help end the pandemic and support the global economy.

During today's conference session Johnson said: "None of us can succeed alone, to win this battle we must work together to build am impregnable shield around all our people and that can only be achieved by developing and mass producing a vaccine."

He continued: "We'll need a truly global effort because no one pharmaceutical company will be able to so this alone. The race to discover the vaccine to defeat this virus is not a competition between countries, but the most urgent shared endeavour of our lifetimes."

The pledging conference is being hosted by the UK, France, Germany Norway, Spain, Canada, Japan, Saudi Arabia as the present holder of the G20 presidency and Italy as the next holder of the G20 presidency.

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