As the saying goes, not all heroes wear capes.
Some wear doctor’s scrubs and nurse’s uniforms — as we saw in hundreds of stories, photos, videos, and interviews celebrating World Health Day and World Health Worker Week.
This World Health Worker Week (#WHWW) we salute all the health workers putting themselves on the line to fight #COVID19.
Help them get the equipment and supplies they need by giving to the #COVID19Fund. For every $1 you give, @Google will donate $2: https://t.co/wEpmdUGLHd pic.twitter.com/EbCFPH89LG
— United Nations Foundation (@unfoundation) April 5, 2020
Every day reveals new heroes all around us in the fight against COVID-19. Instead of capes, some wear gaming headsets. Others wear stylish hats. Some even shave their heads for the cause.
All of these individuals share one thing in common: The knowledge that we can’t fight the ongoing pandemic unless we work together — and that supporting the World Health Organization (WHO) to lead this global mission is not only a smart investment in our collective future, but a powerful way to save lives right now.
In fact, that’s why the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund exists — so that everyone, everywhere can support the frontline health workers, scientists, and global partners who are working day and night to stop the spread.
FUNDing the fight
The COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund is the only way for individuals and companies to support WHO’s global response to the pandemic.
As the UN’s international health organization, WHO is leading global efforts to fight COVID-19 by helping countries detect, treat, and prevent the spread of the virus. Equipping, coordinating, and training frontline health workers lies at the heart of WHO’s mission. More than 7,000 men and women — from medical doctors and vaccine scientists to epidemiologists and first responders — represent the WHO in 150 countries across the planet.
In just the past two weeks, more than $42 million has been disbursed from the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. These funds are providing health workers with the tools, including lab supplies for testing and personal protective equipment (PPE). As of April 2nd, WHO has shipped more than 2 million masks, gowns, gloves, goggles, and face shields to 133 countries. An additional 1.9 million pieces of PPE are ready to be shipped to 62 countries.
The agency is also helping lead efforts to rapidly develop a vaccine for COVID-19. Just last week, at WHO’s request, the Fund disbursed $10 million to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to accelerate progress on vaccine research and development. Two CEPI-supported vaccine programs have already entered the human trial phase.
This week, the Fund will also issue its first disbursement to UNICEF, which joined the Fund at the invitation of WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. As a key partner in the global pandemic response, UNICEF will lead emergency efforts to ensure access to water, sanitation, and hygiene for vulnerable families and communities. Using its vast community outreach and country programs, UNICEF will also provide evidence-based guidance on preventing and controlling the spread of infection.
CEOs Stepping Up
Companies of all sizes and sectors are finding crucial and creative ways to strengthen the global pandemic response. In fact, more than 100 companies and foundations have contributed to the Fund so far — and their support is having a direct impact on frontline health workers, patients, and WHO staff.
The latest highlights include:
- Apple CEO Tim Cook pledging $10 million to support the “One World: Together At Home” event during a live FaceTime with Jimmy Fallon and Lady Gaga.
- The American stock exchange Nasdaq raising awareness for the Fund using its billboard in New York City’s Times Square.
- Target announcing plans to launch a fundraiser this June with the company’s most loyal customers.
- Snapchat unveiling its first-ever global donation tool using augmented reality (AR) technology that shows how donations support WHO’s pandemic response.
- Tiffany & Co. Foundation pledging to the Fund.
- Citi sharing the Fund’s messages of gratitude on World Health Day.
HEROES HELPING OTHERS
Behind our solidarity movement are heroes from all walks of life doing whatever they can to support the global pandemic response: Actors, athletes, artists, authors, musicians, comedians, gamers, YouTubers, you name it. The diversity of our supporters is one of our greatest strengths. Together, we have so far mobilized nearly $150 million for WHO’s COVID-19 response — and we’ve only just begun.
A first-of-its-kind global gathering dubbed #HomeFromHome just rallied online communities across YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tiltify, and Twitch, raising $1.7 million for the Solidarity Response Fund in less than 24 hours.
During a remote appearance on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon,” pop star Lady Gaga announced that she’s organizing a livestreamed concert on Saturday, April 18th with Global Citizen and WHO to benefit the Fund. The event, “One World: Together At Home,” will feature Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Billie Eilish and Lizzo, among many others, and will be broadcast on NBC, ABC, CBS, BBC in the UK, as well as major social media platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Jimmy & @LadyGaga FaceTime @tim_cook about @Apple donating to @WHO‘s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund https://t.co/uo9hZQQH64 #FallonAtHome pic.twitter.com/oHHtCdL50E
— The Tonight Show (@FallonTonight) April 7, 2020
Meanwhile, former One Direction singer Harry Styles recently launched a new t-shirt design that reads “Stay Home. Stay Safe. Protect Each Other.” 100% of the profits will be donated to the Solidarity Response Fund in support of the WHO’s global response.
“The values our biggest heroes stand for tell us something about who we are and who we want to be,” UN Foundation’s President and CEO Elizabeth Cousens wrote for Good magazine last week.
“Every one of us staying at home is helping keep someone else safe. Every health worker who can’t go home to his or her own family or who treats patients when they don’t have protective gear is showing a superpower that should awe us.”
“Every act of kindness is helping remind us of who we can be.”
Out of this unprecedented crisis, heroes and helpers are emerging. And we’re hoping you’ll be one of them.
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 June 30, 2020, for every $1 you donate here, Google.org will donate $2, up to $5,000,000.