WHO and UNICEF to partner on pandemic response through COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund
The World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF today announced an agreement to work together on COVID-19 response, through the historic COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund powered by the United Nations Foundation and Swiss Philanthropy Foundation.
The COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund has been set up to facilitate an unprecedented global response by supporting the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan. As part of the agreement, an initial portion of the money from the Fund – which currently stands at more than $127 million – will flow to UNICEF for its work with vulnerable children and communities all over the world.
“COVID-19 is an unprecedented pandemic requiring extraordinary global solidarity to urgently respond,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization. “I’m pleased that UNICEF joined the Solidarity Response Fund. With their extensive experience both in fundraising and in implementing programmes, this partnership will help us to work together closely to save lives.”
The money collected through the fund will be used, among others, to train and equip communities and health-care workers to prevent, detect and treat COVID-19. It will help countries expand their health-care capacity and mitigate its social impact, especially on women, children and vulnerable social groups. And it will accelerate research and development of treatments and preventive vaccines.
As a key partner in this joined-up effort, UNICEF will lead emergency efforts to ensure families and communities in the most vulnerable countries are fully engaged in the response and have access to water, sanitation and hygiene and other infection prevention and control measures. UNICEF will also ensure children, caretakers, and frontline responders such as social workers, teachers and healthcare workers are supported through evidence-based guidance through its vast community outreach and country programs.
“This is an extraordinary emergency that demands an extraordinary response, and we need all hands on deck—individuals, corporations, foundations, governments and other organizations around the world,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “UNICEF is pleased to join the Solidarity Response Fund. It will bolster our efforts to strengthen health and sanitation systems and help protect the most vulnerable families from knock-on impacts of COVID-19 on already overstretched health systems.”
Funds raised will be spent in alignment with the global response plan, and where needs are greatest