WHERE DO THE FUNDS GO?
The UN Foundation and Swiss Philanthropy Foundation will receive donated funds, which will then be used by the World Health Organization and partners to support countries according to the COVID-19 Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan. As outlined in the plan, the vast majority of the financial resources needed will help vulnerable and at-risk countries, especially those with weak health systems, to step up their preparedness to prevent COVID-19, enhance their abilities to detect and test for the virus, and bolster their ability to respond to COVID-19 spread. The additional funds will help WHO directly to fill in funding needs as it coordinates the global response. As the pandemic evolves, resource needs will also change.
HOW WILL THE FUNDS BE USED?
The COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund supports WHO’s work across all countries to prepare for cases, and to respond if cases appear; to track and understand the spread of the virus; to ensure patients get the care they need and frontline workers get essential supplies and information; and to accelerate efforts to develop vaccines, tests, and treatments.
All these activities are guided by the Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan, which organizes the response along three main pillars:
1) Coordination across regions to assess, respond and mitigate risks;
2) Improve country preparedness and response and
3) Accelerate the research and development.
Donations to the Fund will enable WHO and partners to support countries to:
Build up lab capacity and provide critical supplies such as reagents and tests; Protect vulnerable patients and frontline health workers through coordination and delivery of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE); Treat the most vulnerable, including by setting up intensive care units; Coordinate global research and development efforts for life-saving products and innovations; Improve community engagement, by ensuring the world has clear, authoritative, and evidence-based guidelines to inform response; Enhance transparent communication so that communities have access to the best information to protect themselves.
HOW MUCH ARE YOU HOPING TO RAISE?
The first iteration of the Strategic Preparedness Response Plan outlines a funding need of at least US$675 million through the end of April 2020. In this fast-moving situation, an update to this plan is anticipated by the end of March, and expected to outline a need for greater resources, especially for country response, and research and development. Additionally, as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, the funding needed for all countries to prepare for and respond to this global outbreak is expected to increase. Donations to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund are essential to help meet funding needs.
WHAT PERCENTAGE OF EACH DONATION WILL GO TO THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION?
100% of donations made through Facebook go to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.
95% of donations made through the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund will go to WHO for its global response efforts, with 5% used by the UN Foundation to cover the costs of online transactions.
To cover its administrative charges, Swiss Philanthropy Foundation will take a contribution of 4% for amounts donated through its sheltered fund, with a degressive mechanism. To cover its administrative charges, Transnational Giving Europe will take a contribution of 3% for amounts donated via a local Transnational Giving Europe partner, with a degressive mechanism.
I’VE SEEN OTHER COUNTRIES AND ORGANIZATIONS DONATING TO EFFORTS. HOW IS THIS FUND DIFFERENT?
Several funding announcements have already been made, underlining that people and organizations everywhere are eager to help solve this shared global problem. Many governments, philanthropies and private sector partners have made essential funding announcements to support national or local response efforts within a country.
Other important commitments, such as from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, are bolstering economic resilience and recovery in addition to some elements of public health response. Essential donations have also been made to support research and development efforts for therapeutics, diagnostics and vaccines. To learn more, view this list of established funds for COVID-19.
The COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund is the only way for individual donors and other charitable givers to contribute to WHO’s global response efforts. The funds donated will go directly to support WHO’s leadership role in coordinating the global response–aiding critical prevention, detection, and response efforts–to help the most vulnerable and at-risk countries to prepare and respond to this pandemic.
HOW HAS WHO USED DONATIONS TO DATE?
As of 12 March, WHO has been able to ship supplies of personal protective equipment to 57 countries, with shipments to another 28 expected soon. WHO has also shipped lab supplies to 120 countries.
WHO has also used funds to develop and publish a research and development roadmap, with a set of core protocols for how studies should be done.
Funds have also been used to develop, publish and disseminate comprehensive packages of technical guidance, which are being used by local, national and regional public health authorities across the world.
COVID-19 training courses have also been developed and made available through OpenWHO, with more than 176,000 enrollments to date.
CAN I EARMARK A GIFT TO A SPECIFIC COUNTRY?
Right now as the needs of the COVID-19 pandemic are rapidly changing, it is critical and most valuable to have flexibility for vital resources to be allocated where they are most needed, as assessed by the WHO and its Director-General. Therefore, it is not currently possible for donors to earmark donations for use in a specific country.
DOES WHO SEND MONEY DIRECTLY TO GOVERNMENTS (MINISTRIES OF HEALTH), TO OTHER LOCAL ACTORS (NGOS/OTHER CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS), OR BOTH?
As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, it is clear partners at all levels will play a critical role in preparedness and response efforts. WHO will allocate some funds donated through the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund to organizations it deems best able to respond to needs. Most often, WHO’s funding supports non-governmental actors operating at community and country level to complement government resources.
WHAT KIND OF OVERSIGHT AND ACCOUNTABILITY DOES WHO HAVE FOR THOSE FUNDS THAT IT DISBURSES TO COUNTRY PARTNERS?
The COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund will report on a periodic basis (at a minimum every three months) of how the donated funds are being used. WHO will also publicly share on its website how much money has been donated to support the Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan and how these funds in their entirety are being spent so that the public can understand how these funds are helping with response efforts.
For all science-related questions about COVID-19, please visit WHO’s COVID-19 resources.