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This handout picture released by G20 Summit's Press Office on April 21, 2020, shows an videoconference meeting of the G20 Agriculture ministers chaired by Saudi Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture Abdulrahman Al-Fadley (R).

-/AFP/Getty Images

The group of 20 rich and emerging economies on Sunday launched an international initiative to accelerate access to health tools needed to fight the new coronavirus.

The finance minister of Saudi Arabia, the current G20 chair, said the group is still working to bridge an estimated $8 billion funding gap to combat the pandemic.

“The G20 will continue reinforcing global cooperation on all fronts, and most importantly, on closing the immediate health financing gap,” the minister, Mohammed al-Jadaan, said in a statement launching the “Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator” initiative.

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He added that “the international community is still facing extraordinary uncertainty about the depth and duration of this health crisis”, the statement said.

Saudi Arabia earlier this month pledged $500 million to support global efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic. In the statement, it repeated its call on all countries, non-governmental organizations, philanthropists and the private sector to help close the financing gap.

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