In this time of uncertainty, one thing is clear:
We can’t stop the COVID-19 pandemic without a coordinated, global response.
Right now the World Health Organization (WHO) is on the frontlines of this fast-moving crisis — providing everything from personal protective equipment for health workers to the latest safety guidelines so governments and citizens alike have accurate, up-to-date information about the virus.
Yet this pandemic is unlike anything we’ve ever faced before — and will require commitment from all corners of the planet to tackle. Pandemics like this one show us that a “whole of society” approach — one that does not divorce private action from public response, economic policy from public health policy — is essential.
The truth is: We need a commitment to global solidarity that is unprecedented in modern times. We are in this fight together.
That’s why we’ve launched the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund to support the WHO’s global response to this growing pandemic. We aim to unite individuals, companies, and philanthropies from around the world in the fight against this virus.
People and organizations all over the world can donate — and we need everyone to give.
This fund is the first of its kind — and it’s the only way for individuals, businesses, and philanthropies to get involved and fight this virus on a global scale.
To guide the global public health response to COVID-19, WHO has developed a plan called the Strategic Preparedness Response Plan. It’s being updated as the situation evolves, but it already identifies a critical need for funds. While donor governments are stepping up, an emergency of this scale demands that everyone, everywhere joins forces.
The Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan outlines many areas in urgent need of funds:
- Tracking and understanding the spread of the virus
- Ensuring patients get the care they need, and frontline workers get essential supplies and information
- Ensuring all countries can prepare, especially those with the weakest health systems
- Accelerating efforts to develop vaccines, tests and treatments
The COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund is designed to help fill those gaps, allowing WHO and its partners to do their essential public health work at the front lines of this global crisis.
Since the fund’s launch, we’ve already witnessed an incredible outpouring of support from all corners of the globe. In less than a week, more than 175,000 individuals have donated to the global response. Leading companies like Facebook, Google, Nike, H&M Foundation, and American Express have donated to the fund — and we’re hoping many more will join them. What I find most inspiring is not just the big donors. Artists are reaching out — showing that physical distancing doesn’t have to mean socially disconnecting – to stream free concerts and promote donations; popular video gamers are hosting live fundraisers with their followers, and a fitness guru in Ireland pledged 4,000 squats and £2,000 to the Fund.
The collective power of all of us, working together in the midst of unprecedented circumstances is awe-inspiring. It’s global partnership in action. Seeing individuals and companies step up so quickly with donations has been incredible to witness–a true show of solidarity during a very uncertain time.
The world is facing a historic threat, but together we are fighting this deadly virus. With this fund, we’re calling on each and every one of you to choose solidarity and strength over hopelessness and fear.
Kate Dodson is the Vice President for Global Health at the United Nations Foundation.