June 22, 2020 / 9:45 AM / 2 months ago

Film, pop stars line up for global COVID-19 fundraising gig

FILE PHOTO: Miley Cyrus performs during the iHeartRadio Music Festival at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. September 21, 2019. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

LONDON (Reuters) - International music and film stars will headline a globally televised and streamed fundraising concert on Saturday to help fight COVID-19 as part of a joint initiative by the advocacy group Global Citizen and the European Commission.

The initiative, called “Global Goal: Unite For Our Future,” is aiming to raise billions of dollars in private and public donations to help lessen the impact of the pandemic on marginalised communities.

Speaking at an online panel ahead of the event, pop star Miley Cyrus said the pandemic was hitting the world’s poor and marginalised people the hardest. She urged donors committing funds for tests, treatments and vaccines to ensure they are developed in ways that everyone everywhere has access to them.

Researchers and drugmakers across the globe are working on more than 100 potential vaccines against COVID-19, which has so far killed more than 463,000 people.

Hosted by actor Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, the virtual concert will feature Cyrus, Chloe x Halle, Christine and the Queens, Coldplay and Shakira and others, and include actors Charlize Theron and Hugh Jackman as well as retired soccer star David Beckham.

“We need our world leaders to commit the billions of dollars needed to develop and equitably deliver testing, treatments and vaccines,” said Hugh Evans, Global Citizen’s chief executive.

European Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen said the concert would coincide with a pledging summit, at which artists, scientists and world leaders will “commit to helping the world end coronavirus, while leaving no one behind.”

The EU is increasingly taking a role as a champion of global cooperation in efforts to control and end the pandemic of COVID-19 caused by the novel coronavirus, while the United States and China are focused more on national initiatives.

Reporting by Kate Kelland; Editing by Peter Cooney

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