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WHO Launches Historic Fundraising Effort to Fight Coronavirus Pandemic

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Updated: | Originally published:

The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched a first-of-its-kind fundraising drive for companies, philanthropies and individuals to contribute to as it continues to fight the growing coronavirus pandemic.

The United Nations Foundation and the Swiss Philanthropy Foundation will manage the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund to address the need for money to prepare for and respond to the spread of the coronavirus.

WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced the new fund on Friday. The organization anticipates a need of $675 million through April to address the worldwide outbreak, and said funding needs will likely increase as the crisis evolves.

“We hope it will become the foremost way for businesses, individuals and philanthropies to get involved in this fight against this virus on a global scale, which is exactly what we need at this moment,” Kate Dodson, vice president of global health at the UN Foundation, told reporters.

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The money will be used to support efforts in tracking and understanding the spread of COVID-19, ensuring that patients can access the care they need and that frontline workers can get supplies and information, and accelerating the development of vaccines, tests and treatments, according to UN Foundation representatives.

Scott Pendergast, director for strategic planning at WHO’s emergency preparedness and response program, told reporters donations to the fund will be used to provide medical equipment, such as ventilators and oxygen, along with personal protective supplies to countries, particularly those with weaker healthcare systems, in an effort to ramp up their responses to COVID-19.

“One of the major actions is making sure that countries are prepared for and can respond to COVID-19, and this includes putting in place coordination mechanisms at the country level,” Pendergast said.

Businesses, philanthropies and individuals from all over the world are encouraged to donate to the fund by visiting www.COVID19Fund.org or contact COVID19Fund@unfoundation.org to send a check or wire money.

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