Together, we hit an incredible milestone this week.
The COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund surpassed $100 million in donations since the fund’s launch just two weeks ago.
As the only way for individuals and companies to support the World Health Organization (WHO)’s global response to the pandemic, the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund has already generated support from more than 200,000 individuals across the globe, as well as dozens of companies and organizations.
What unites all of these donors is the understanding that this pandemic cannot be defeated by one country alone — and that WHO’s leadership coordinating efforts across borders will be crucial in the fight against COVID-19.
Today the #COVID19 Solidarity Response Fund reached over $100M in donations & pledges from individuals & orgs. This outpouring of support to stop the #coronavirus is heartwarming. A huge THANK YOU from @WHO & our wonderful partners @unfoundation & SPF! https://t.co/mRCMYYtASW
— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) March 26, 2020
In an interview with CBS News, UNF’s President and CEO Elizabeth Cousens said the case for global cooperation could not be clearer. “Communities everywhere are affected, and people want to contribute,” she said.
“This new fund creates space for people everywhere, together, to fight this virus.”
What the Fund Supports
As of March 19th, WHO has shipped 1.5 million diagnostic test kits to 120 countries as well as personal protective equipment — including N95 masks, gloves, and gowns — to hospitals and health clinics in 68 countries where it’s needed most.
Donations to the fund also support frontline health workers like Dr. Jackson Njoroge, a member of the Kenyan Ministry of Health’s Rapid Response Team who is working with WHO to identify, trace, and treat coronavirus patients in the East African nation. Dr. Njoroge is among 1,500 Kenyan health workers who have received training from WHO to prepare for a situation like the ongoing pandemic.
The agency has also created online training modules in six languages to educate health workers across the globe on how to safely detect, treat, and prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The WHO has field offices in 149 countries, and over half its staff are currently on the ground helping to bolster preparedness plans, build new laboratories, and support health systems being overwhelmed by the pandemic.
But earlier this week, WHO officials warned of a massive shortage of critical supplies — including gloves, masks, face shields, and respirators — to protect healthcare workers and their patients from being infected, and then potentially infecting others. The Executive Director of the WHO Health Emergencies Program, Dr. Mike Ryan, signaled that they need to increase the output of testing kits 80- to 100-fold to meet global demand. This week, WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called on companies and suppliers across the globe to step up support and production.
Solidarity Across Sectors
From the NBA to Spotify to Cisco, companies and organizations across a broad range of industries are stepping up to support the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.
This week: TikTok and WhatsApp announced innovative information-sharing partnerships with WHO to educate the public about the ongoing pandemic and debunk dangerous myths; Facebook Gaming held a fundraiser with 180 different video game streamers, raising more than $58,000 in one evening; and a 12-hour telethon dubbed “Stream Aid 2020” — hosted by Twitch — will air tomorrow featuring live gaming streams by Fortnite, FIFAPro, and others, and performances by musicians like Mumford & Sons, Diplo, The Lumineers, and John Legend. All proceeds will go to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.
Other artists and actors, including Taylor Swift and Rihanna, are stepping up to support WHO’s efforts by donating directly to the Fund and using their platforms to dispel misinformation and share vital messaging on personal hygiene, social distancing, and stigma reduction from WHO.
“Films and other media are a powerful way not only of communicating important health messages, but of administering one of the most powerful medicines: Hope,” Dr. Tedros said earlier this week.
How You Can Help
We’ve got to work together to stop the spread of #COVID19.
Here are 5 simple but effective things you can do to protect yourself and others, including donate.
— UN Foundation (@unfoundation) March 24, 2020
Thanks to the courage of frontline health workers like Dr. Njoroge and the leadership of UN officials like Dr. Tedros, the world is coming together to fight this pandemic on a scale never before seen.
A crisis of this magnitude requires everyone to do their part. In the days and weeks to come, we’ll need more of this kind of solidarity.
The COVID-19 pandemic has made clear that we all depend on each other’s actions. And we can all play our part to stop the spread.
Every donation makes a difference. Support WHO’s life-saving efforts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic by giving to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. Donations made via Facebook will be matched up to $10,000,000. Through April 30, 2020, for every $1 you donate here, Google.org will donate $2, up to $5,000,000.