G20 chair Saudi Arabia pledges $500 million to combat coronavirus: statement

DUBAI (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia, the current G20 chair, said on Thursday it has pledged $500 million to support global efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic and urged other countries and organisations to help bridge an $8 billion financing gap.

Riyadh said it would allocate $150 million to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness and Innovation, $150 million to the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations, and $200 million to other health organisations and programmes.

In a statement, it called on all countries, non-governmental organizations, philanthropies and the private sector to help close a financing gap estimated at over $8 billion to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reporting by Hesham Abdul Khalek; Writing by Ghaida Ghantous; Editing by Chris Reese