Women 'on precipice' in developing countries amid COVID-19

In this photo taken Saturday, June 20, 2020, Grace Twisimire, 25, sits in her once-thriving shop selling clothes and plastic shoes in the capital Kampala, Uganda. The COVID-19 pandemic means that millions of women in Africa and other developing regions could lose years of success in contributing to household incomes, asserting their independence and expanding financial inclusion. (AP Photo/Ronald Kabuubi)

LONDON (AP) — A summit that included a star-studded virtual concert hosted by Dwayne Johnson has raised nearly $7 billion in cash and loan guarantees to assist the poor around the globe whose lives have been upended by the coronavirus pandemic.

Global Citizen said its summit with world leaders had raised $1.5 billion to help COVID-19 efforts in poor countries, along with a promise of 250 million doses of a vaccine for those nations if one is successfully developed.

The group said it had secured $5.4 billion in loans and guarantees from the European Commission and the European Investment Bank to support fragile economies worldwide.

The event included a Johnson-hosted concert with performances by Jennifer Hudson, Miley Cyrus, Coldplay and Chloe x Halle. Cyrus performed The Beatles’ “Help!” in an empty stadium and Hudson performed “Where Peaceful Waters Flow” from a boat in Chicago.

“The $6.9 billion that was pledged today to support the world’s poorest and most marginalized communities is an incredible next step on our journey out of the COVID-19 era, but there is more still to be done, as no one is safe until everyone is safe," Hugh Evans, CEO of Global Citizen, said after the event Saturday.

“As we fight this virus, we also need to take care of the most vulnerable people and address the challenges they’re facing right now,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said during the event.

Speakers also included the leaders of New Zealand, El Salvador, Sweden, South Africa and Barbados.

Organizers said the show was not just a fundraiser, but aimed to draw awareness to the disproportionate impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on marginalized communities.

French President Emmanuel Macron said shared action was needed to defeat the virus.

“Let’s mobilize, let’s refuse an ‘every man for himself’ approach, let’s continue to move forward together. France and Europe take their responsibility today and will do so tomorrow,” Macron said.

Worldwide, nearly 10 million people have been reported infected by the virus, and nearly a half million have died, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. Experts say those figures seriously understate the true toll of the pandemic, due to limited testing and missed mild cases.

About a dozen potential COVID-19 vaccines are in early stages of testing. While some could move into late-stage testing later this year if all goes well, it’s unlikely any would be licensed before early next year at the earliest.

———

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Thank you for reading!

Please log in, or sign up for a new account and purchase a subscription to read or post comments.