COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund marks first anniversary, appeals for continued support

March 16, 2021

In the first year of the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, created by the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 661,000 donors have contributed nearly US $250 million to date, reported the organization.

Powered by the UN Foundation and the Swiss Philanthropy Foundation, this platform enables private companies, individuals and other organizations to contribute directly to WHO’s efforts to prevent, detect, and respond to COVID-19 around the world. The funds have be used to provide millions of frontline workers with critical personal protective equipment, medical supplies, and testing kits; to manage misinformation and the infodemic; support vulnerable populations like refugees and displaced persons; and helped accelerate the research on vaccines, tests, and treatments.

“I sincerely thank every individual, corporation and other organization for their donations to the Solidarity Response Fund,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “Your generosity has made a difference. On the fund’s one-year anniversary, we have seen what we can accomplish together in times of need.”

The Solidarity Response Fund has been a critical source of funding for the WHO’s overall response. Since the beginning of the pandemic, WHO has shipped nearly 250 million items of personal protective equipment and vital medical supplies including oxygen across more than 150 countries, strengthened hundreds of national and subnational laboratories with technical support, supplied more than 250 million COVID-19 tests; coordinated the deployment of more than 180 teams across the world; and supported more than 12,000 intensive care beds in health systems that might otherwise have been overwhelmed.

Despite this progress, current trends show that the fight is far from over. That’s why today the fund launches a renewed call for action for funds to contribute to the estimated US $1.96 billion required by WHO in 2021 to respond to remaining and new challenges in the fight against COVID-19.

Contributions to the next phase of the fund will support the efforts of WHO and its partners to continue to suppress transmission, reduce exposure, counter misinformation, protect the vulnerable, reduce mortality and morbidity and accelerate equitable access to new COVID-19 tools – including through WHO’s work with the ACT-Accelerator, to scale up vaccination globally, particularly for the most vulnerable countries, and ensure the delivery of life-saving supplies.

The recently launched WHO Foundation will lead the next phase of the Solidarity Response Fund to support the continuing fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, working in collaboration with the United Nations Foundation and a global network of fiduciary partners. Launched in May 2020, the WHO Foundation is an independent grant-making organization that supports WHO’s efforts to address urgent global health challenges.

The COVID-19 Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan (SPRP), and accompanying guidelines, issued in February 2021, fully articulates the basis for WHO’s appeal. The document guides coordinated action that WHO must take at national, regional, and global levels to overcome the ongoing challenges in the response to COVID-19, address inequities, and plot a course beyond the pandemic.

WHO has the release.

More COVID-19 coverage HERE.