As confirmed cases of Coronavirus increases globally, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has expanded funding for it own global response with an additional $150 million.
The additional funding brings the foundation’s commitment to the fight against COVID-19 to more than $250 million (N87.5 billion).
A statement released by the foundation on Thursday said the new funding will also provide partners in Africa and South Asia with resources to scale up their COVID-19 detection, treatment, and isolation efforts.
The new fund is to help strengthen African and South Asian health systems, support development of diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines and help mitigate the social and economic impacts of the virus.
The foundation said it will also leverage a portion of its $2.5 billion Strategic Investment Fund, which uses a suite of financial tools to address market failures and incentivise private enterprise to develop affordable and accessible health products.
“These funds, which can include equity investments, loans, and volume guarantees, will be used to help health systems in low- and middle-income countries facilitate the rapid procurement of personal protective equipment for healthcare workers, COVID-19 diagnostics, oxygen therapeutics, and other essential medical supplies,” it said.