COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for WHO

Frequently Asked Questions

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THIS FUND?

The COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization (WHO) is the only way for individuals, corporations, foundations, and other organizations around the world to directly support the work of WHO and partners to help countries prevent, detect, and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, especially where needs are greatest. Money raised through the Fund can be disbursed at speed and flexibly, so it gets where it is most needed as quickly as possible. 

The Fund is aligned with the priorities outlined in the WHO COVID-19 Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan, outlining the global public health strategies to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Fund was created at the request of WHO by the United Nations Foundation in partnership with the Swiss Philanthropy Foundation. Transnational Giving Europe Network, of which Swiss Philanthropy Foundation is the Swiss representative, will facilitate donations across the UK, Europe, and Canada. The Japan Center for International Exchange (JCIE) will facilitate donations in Japan.

HOW TO GIVE TO THE COVID-19 SOLIDARITY RESPONSE FUND FOR WHO.

The COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund is a historic opportunity for everyone, everywhere to help support the World Health Organization and its partners’ lifesaving work to prevent, detect, and respond to the unprecedented global COVID-19 pandemic. To allow everyone an opportunity to give, we have created multiple fundraising platforms for the fund. You can give in any of the following ways:

Anyone can give directly with a credit card through the online donation website for the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.

Facebook users can give directly within the Facebook platform and Facebook will match up to $10 million. 100% of the donations made through the platform will go to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund through the United Nations Foundation.

Donors can give through Google’s donation platform. Google will give $2 for every $1 donated, up to $5 million. 100% of the donations made through the platform will go to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund through the United Nations Foundation.

  • Text to Give

Customers of U.S. mobile carriers can give by text message. To give $25, text WHO25 to 501501. To give $50, text WHO50 to 501501. Messaging rates may apply.

  • Donate by check or wire to the United Nations Foundation

Please make checks payable to: COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund and mail them to: 

United Nations Foundation/COVID-19 Fund

P.O. Box 96619

Washington DC, 20090-6619

  • Community Fundraising

Community organizations, groups, and individuals are able to set up a fundraising page in support of the COVID-19 Response Fund for the World Health Organization (WHO), where they can set goals, share with their networks, and track progress.

To learn more, contact covid19fund@unfoundation.org.

  • Additional Ways to Give

A number of partners have also established additional ways to give. Please see links below to learn more.

To learn more, contact covid19fund@unfoundation.org.

  • Wire Transfers in Europe, the UK, or Canada through the Swiss Philanthropy Foundation or a partner in the Transnational Giving Europe network

For more information, please visit the Swiss Philanthropy Foundation COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund website.

  • Donate in Japan directly online or give via wire transfer through the Japan Center for International Exchange (JCIE). For more information, please visit the JCIE website.

WHO CAN DONATE?

The COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund is open to donations from individuals, corporations, foundations, or other organizations around the world. Donors must abide by the UN Foundation’s or Swiss Philanthropy Foundation’s due diligence policies (which, among other things, prohibits the receipt of funds from alcohol, firearms, and tobacco industries). View the United Nations Foundation and Swiss Philanthropy Foundation due diligence policies.

For corporate, institutional, and foundation donations, please contact COVID19Fund@unfoundation.org

ARE DONATIONS TAX-DEDUCTIBLE?

Donations made directly on the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund website www.covid19responsefund.org are tax-deductible to the extent allowable by law in the United States. If you would like to donate via wire or check, the United Nations Foundation can accept donations from anywhere around the world and may be able to provide tax benefit in the United States. Contact COVID19Fund@unfoundation.org to donate via check or wire transfer to the United Nations Foundation.

All donations made through Facebook are entirely tax-deductible.

Donations made by Swiss tax residents to Swiss Philanthropy Foundation are tax-deductible to the extent allowable by law and donors’ individual tax situation in Switzerland.

Additionally, as Swiss Philanthropy Foundation is part of the Transnational Giving Europe network, donors based in select European countries and Canada can donate via their local Transnational Giving Europe partner. Such donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowable by the law of the donors’ country of residence. Contact the relevant Transnational Giving Europe partner to understand how to make a tax-deductible donation. Donors in Japan may also be able to make a tax-deductible donation through JCIE. The list of contacts by country is featured below.

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 financial resources raised will go to the areas with the greatest need. Allocations from the Fund are decided by WHO and are expected to go directly to:

  • WHO for its work to directly lead efforts to track the spread of the virus, equip frontline health workers with personal protective equipment, ensure lab and testing tools are available in countries around the world, keep communities and frontline responders informed with the latest technical guidance, and accelerate the research and development of treatments and vaccines, particularly supporting low-resource settings.  

  • UNICEF, to ensure children and families around the world are equipped with all the evidence-based information and latest WHO guidance as well as locally relevant information to protect themselves from the spread of COVID-19; to support vulnerable countries by providing access to water, sanitation and hygiene, and basic infection prevention and control measures; and to provide access to care for vulnerable families and children. 

  • CEPI, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, a key partner leading the financing for research and development for novel vaccines to combat COVID-19, working closely with WHO.

HOW WILL THE FUNDS BE USED?

The COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund supports WHO and partners’ work to ensure all countries are able to prevent, detect, and respond to COVID-19. This work is guided by the COVID-19 Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan, which highlights three priority areas of need: 

Donations to the Fund enable WHO and partners 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);

  • Support the most vulnerable populations in humanitarian contexts;

  • Accelerate global research and development efforts for a vaccine and effective treatments;

  • 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.

Donations to the Fund are helping WHO send millions of pieces of personal protective equipment and testing kits to more than 126 countries all over the world; and to develop accurate informational tools in more than 13 languages, and training courses for more than a million health workers around the world.  

Donations are helping WHO set up and lead an international Supply Chain Task Force, bringing together private and public sectors to ensure an effective global supply of critical commodities, including personal protective equipment, and skilled personnel. 

At WHO’s request, the Fund has disbursed money to UNICEF for its work on COVID-19, including to support vulnerable countries by providing access to water, sanitation and hygiene, and basic infection prevention and control measures; and to provide access to care for vulnerable families and children. 

At WHO’s request the Fund has also disbursed money to CEPI, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, which works to catalyze and coordinate efforts to find and produce an effective vaccine. 

HOW MUCH ARE YOU HOPING TO RAISE?

As the global pandemic has grown, so has the scale of the response needed. The first iteration of the Strategic Preparedness Response Plan (SPRP) outlined a funding need of at least US$675 million through the end of April 2020, and thanks to contributions from governments and donors’ generosity, this funding need was largely met. An updated COVID-19 Strategic Response and Preparedness Plan outlines a need for greater resources over a longer period of time to help countries and communities that need it most, especially where health systems are weakest, to ensure global and regional coordination of response efforts, and to accelerate and increase research and development to produce vaccines, tests and treatments as fast as possible. Donations to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund quickly get funding where it’s most needed. 

WHAT PERCENTAGE OF EACH DONATION WILL GO TO THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION?

100% of donations made through the various donation platforms go to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.

95% of donations made to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund will go to WHO or partners like UNICEF and CEPI, as requested by WHO, for response efforts, with 5% used by the UN Foundation to cover the costs of transactions. Likewise, 95% of contributions made to the Fund through the Japan Center for International Exchange (JCIE), will also go to WHO and its partners.

To cover its administrative charges, Swiss Philanthropy Foundation will take a contribution of 4% for amounts donated through the fund up to CHF 5 million, followed by 2% of funds donated up to CHF 10 million, followed by 1% of funds above that amount. To cover its administrative charges, Transnational Giving Europe will take a contribution of 5% for amounts donated via a local Transnational Giving Europe partner up to EUR 100,000 then 1% beyond that, capped at EUR 15,000. 

I’VE SEEN OTHER COUNTRIES AND ORGANIZATIONS DONATING TO EFFORTS. HOW IS THIS FUND DIFFERENT?

The COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund is the only way for individual donors and other charitable givers to contribute directly to WHO’s global public health response efforts. Funds donated will go directly to support WHO’s work, together with partners, leading and coordinating the global response, helping countries and communities with the greatest need prevent, detect, and respond to the pandemic. Donations to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund quickly get funding where it’s most needed.

Many funding announcements have already been made, underlining that people and organizations everywhere are eager to help solve this shared global problem. Many governments, philanthropies, private sector partners, and the UN 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.

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 quickly allocated where they are most needed, as assessed by WHO and its Director-General. Therefore, it is not currently possible for donors to earmark donations for use in a specific country or for a specific purpose.

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. Among them, UNICEF plays an especially essential role at community and country level in the most vulnerable countries, complementing government resources. CEPI (The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations) will also play an important role in ensuring that the prevention and treatment tools developed through research and development will be not only funded, but also made accessible to all countries, regardless of income status

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, UNICEF and CEPI will also publicly share on their websites 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.