A first-of-its-kind COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund has been initiated to raise money to support the work to prevent, detect, and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim is to ensure all countries are prepared, especially those with the weakest health systems. The UN Foundation, at the request of World Health Organization (WHO), has created the fund which already has some major early supporters lined up including Facebook and Google. Today, the non-profit H&M Foundation commits USD 500,000 to the fund’s lifesaving work.
The donation made by the H&M Foundation will support WHO’s immediate global efforts to track and understand the spread of the virus, to ensure patients get the care they need, frontline workers get essential supplies and information, and to accelerate efforts to develop vaccines, tests, and treatments.
“Diseases don’t respect borders, and I am so grateful to H&M Foundation for recognizing that this truly global problem needs a truly global solution with everyone doing their part,” said Elizabeth Cousens, President and CEO of the UN Foundation. “Their contribution to this historic fund will support the World Health Organization’s lifesaving work to help all countries to prevent, detect, and respond to COVID-19, especially where needs are greatest.”
The COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund is currently the only way for individual donors and other charitable givers to contribute to WHO’s global response efforts.
“The growing COVID-19 pandemic affects us all and the World Health Organization is doing an extremely important job of leading and managing this global effort. We hope that more organisations and individuals want to join and help, as donations to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund are essential to meet funding needs in this fast-moving situation,” said Karl-Johan Persson, board member of H&M Foundation.
As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, countries will have to prepare for and respond to this global outbreak, and consequently the funding needed is expected to increase.