COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund Distributes $20M to the World Food Programme

Washington, DC

May 22, 2020


Megan Rabbitt

The COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization (WHO), powered by the United Nations Foundation, today announced a new disbursement of USD $20 million to the World Food Programme (WFP) to scale up global logistics distribution systems in response to the COVID-19 Global Pandemic.

The COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund has been set up to facilitate an unprecedented global response by raising funds for the COVID-19 Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan. Consistent with the emphasis on strengthening global supply chains, this US $20 million disbursement will help WFP maintain global logistics services that are delivering vital staff and supplies such as personal protective equipment (PPE) to countries with the greatest need.

“Contributions like this help WFP keep critical global supply chains moving so essential medicines and equipment can reach those most in need. We are grateful to the people and companies that have donated to the Solidarity Response Fund so we can continue supporting the entire humanitarian community and the people who rely on us,” said David Beasley, WFP’s Executive Director.

“Thanks to the thousands of COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund donors who stepped up early and generously, we have been able to  move funds quickly to procure essential commodities through WHO. This new partnership with WFP will help get them to the places and people where they are most needed,” said Elizabeth Cousens, President & CEO of the UN Foundation. “The entire United Nations system is working in solidarity to battle this virus, and has already moved millions of pieces of critical equipment. The UN Foundation is proud to support their life-saving work.”

WFP and WHO have moved urgently to respond to the growing threat of COVID-19, transporting humanitarian and health cargo around the world. Today’s disbursement will support WFP’s air services and a network of hubs to deliver essential staff and supplies to vulnerable communities around the world. So far, WFP has dispatched over 6,500 cubic metres of critical health and humanitarian supplies to 112 countries.

In early April, the United Nations launched the UN COVID-19 Supply Chain Task Force – coordinated by WHO and WFP – to massively scale up the procurement and delivery of PPE, testing and diagnostics supplies, and biomedical equipment like ventilators and oxygen concentrators. With the help of the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for WHO, the Task Force was able to secure 4 million manual polymerase chain reaction tests and start purchasing supplies to be allocated and distributed to 135 countries.

To date, the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund has raised over USD $210 million from more than 300,000 individuals from over 100 countries and from more than 140 leading companies. More than USD $115 million has already been disbursed by the fund. Last month, a disbursement of USD $10 million was made to UNICEF to strengthen health and sanitation systems and help protect the world’s most vulnerable communities. In addition, the Fund has disbursed $10 million to CEPI, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness, to support the rapid development of a new vaccine.

The Fund remains the first, fastest and only way for companies, organizations and individuals to contribute directly to critical global response efforts led by WHO. Allocation decisions for the use of the Fund’s resources are made by WHO in line with the Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan. The COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund is powered by the United Nations Foundation and Swiss Philanthropy Foundation in support of the World Health Organization.


About the United Nations Foundation

The UN Foundation brings together ideas, people, and resources to help the United Nations drive global progress and tackle urgent problems. Our hallmark is to collaborate for lasting change and innovate to address humanity’s greatest challenges. Learn more at

About the World Food Programme

The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies, building prosperity and supporting a sustainable future for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.