Saudi Health Minister: We Have Allocated Half A Billion Dollars For COVID-19 Research

Saudi Arabia has allocated half a billion dollars for vaccine research, said Kingdom’s Minister of Health Dr.Tawfiq al-Rabiah during a G20 roundtable discussion of Friday entitled ‘G20 to protect people’s lives’.

He participated along with Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Wasil, the Saudi Permanent Representative in Geneva, Abdulaziz al-Rasheed the Assistant Minister for International Affairs and Financial Policies at the Saudi Ministry of Finance, Guy Ryder the Director – General of the ILO, Dr. Tedros Adhanom the Director General For the World Health Organization, Dr. Seth Barkley the CEO of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization and Mr. Gian Lonrenzo Cornado the Italian Permanent Representative in Geneva.

‘The world needs to invest in more resilient system that will withstand any (pandemic) that we may endure in the future so that we never witness those losses again’.

On a national level, Saudi Arabia has proactively undertaken unprecedented measures to contain the outbreak of COVID-19 to show that people’s health and safety is always put first, said the Saudi Health minister.

The Saudi Health minister emphasized that his ministry had introduced new digital applications utilized to leverage quarantine and monitor cases to ensure the safety of all and the general public health, especially during this year’s Hajj.

Top Priority Is Protecting Lives

Abdulaziz Al-Rasheed, the Assistant Minister for International Affairs and Financial Policies at the Saudi Ministry of Finance, said that the Kingdom has placed at the top of its priorities to protect lives and the economy from the pandemic.

‘There’s no denying that 2020 has been one of the most challenging years for all of us, families,  businesses, and governments. Beyond the health concerns, the social and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be significant. Hence I would like to focus my remarks on the G20 efforts to support the global economic and response measures to combat COVID-19’, Al-Rasheed added.

Al-Rasheed added that the G20 Summit has committed to specific actions to drive forward international economic cooperation in health, economy, and financial responses, including international support to countries in need.

‘As part of this work, G20 launched its historic service mission initiative to provide the most vulnerable countries with urgent and immediate liquidity relief from official bilateral creditors. The initiative can provide U.S. $14 billion in 2020 alone from official bilateral creditors for 73 eligible countries enabling them to strengthen their response to pandemic and its social and economic impact’, Al-Rasheed concluded.

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