Coronavirus is a global pandemic. It affects all of us and every country in the world. More than two and a half million people have been infected so far. We have lost almost 180,000 people to this virus. And it is still spreading fast. The response to this pandemic can only be global. We need cooperation between governments across the world, scientists, civil society, business, citizens.
This is why we are organising a global online pledging conference. On the 4th of May we will have the coronavirus global response summit. The aim is to join forces and mobilise resources. We need to develop as soon as possible a vaccine, produce it and deploy it to every single corner of the world. And we need to ramp up work on prevention, diagnostics and treatment. For this, we need money. So one of the main objectives of the summit will be to raise an initial sum of 7,5 billion euro - to kick-start the global cooperation. More will be needed in the future. And we want to bring together the world and its leaders to jointly defeat the virus.
I have invited other countries from the G20 and beyond, to join forces with the European Union in organising this event. I am grateful to the experienced organisations, which are working with us on this. The Global Preparedness Monitoring Board, the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, the Welcome Trust, the World Health Organisation, and many others. They bring valuable expertise in this area. I am encouraged by the many signs of engagement from people all over the world. Singers, artists, citizens, sportspeople, business leaders. We are inspired by them and we hope that we can mobilise a strong international response.
Together, we are stronger and we will defeat this virus.