The United Nations Foundation's Response to COVID-19

At the request of the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Foundation in partnership with the Swiss Philanthropy Foundation established the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for WHO on March 13, 2020. Guided by WHO’s Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan, the Fund is the first and foremost way for companies, organizations, and individuals to directly contribute to the WHO and its partners’ global pandemic relief and response efforts.  

As of June 24, the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund has raised over $222 million from over 479,000 individuals (in more than 100 countries) and more than 140 leading companies and foundations from around the world. In addition to donations and institutional gifts, the fundraising approach has also used different models for fundraising, including virtual concerts with top-tier global artists, online gaming, donor-advised gifts, percentage of sale arrangements, and employee giving.  

Weekly fund disbursements mean the contributions have been some of the very earliest to support the global response.  

  • More than $117 million to WHO to procure and distribute essential medical supplies, including personal protective equipment (PPE), and testing kits to 135 countries and coordinate the response
  • $10 million to UNICEF for its COVID-19 work supporting vulnerable countries with access to evidence-based information; to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) and basic infection prevention and control (IPC) measures; and to care for vulnerable families and children
  • $10 million to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to support several research programs on potential vaccines, including three that are now in Phase-1 clinical trials
  • $10 million to UNHCR to help ensure Internally Displaced People and refugees can access services they need to stay safe
  • $20 million to WFP to manage a global supply chain to distribute vital health commodities to countries in need


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