Yoon pledges US$24 mln to CEPI to help fight against infectious diseases

President Yoon Suk Yeol on Saturday pledged an additional US$24 million in contributions from South Korea to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), his office said.

Yoon made the pledge while addressing an expanded session of the Group of Seven summit, offering an amount nearly triple what South Korea has contributed so far to CEPI, a senior presidential official told reporters.

CEPI is an Oslo-based international public-private partnership to finance independent research projects to develop vaccines against emerging viral threats.

During the session, which dealt with issues of food security, health, development and gender, Yoon also announced plans to expand the ASEAN Plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve (APTERR), a partnership involving the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and South Korea, China and Japan.

The goals of the APTERR are to strengthen food security, alleviate poverty and eradicate malnourishment among its member states without distorting normal trade.

Also during the session, Yoon said South Korea will help strengthen rice production capacity in seven poor African countries through the so-called "K-rice belt" project.

Source: Yonhap News Agency