Well-Being Prevention & Cures

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation puts $100 million toward coronavirus relief


Story at a glance

  • To accelerate the development of vaccines, $60 million will be allocated.
  • Up to $20 million will go to multilateral organizations such as the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • More than 28,000 people are infected in China, with at least 560 dead.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is putting up to $100 million towards bolstering the global response to the deadly coronavirus outbreak

“The funding will help strengthen detection, isolation and treatment efforts; protect at-risk populations; and develop vaccines, treatments and diagnostics,” the foundation said in a statement Wednesday

The foundation said it will immediately commit up to $20 million to accelerate detection, isolation and treatment of people with the virus to interrupt transmission and contain the disease. The funding will be directed to multilateral organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as health agencies in China. 

Meanwhile, $60 million will be used to accelerate the development and testing of vaccines, treatments and diagnostics for the novel coronavirus. Funds are also being focused in South Asia and Africa, where the foundation says people are at higher risks of contamination due to lack of access to adequate health care. 

The foundation says the remaining funds will be directed “to help public health authorities cover the initial cost of labor and supplies while international agencies and national governments appropriate the resources necessary to fund ongoing operations.”

The foundation contributed $10 million to the outbreak response in late January. 

So far, more than 28,000 people in China have been infected, and at least 560 have died since the outbreak began in December. At least 26 other countries are experiencing cases, but the World Health Organization reports 99 percent of the cases are taking place in China.