The Rockefeller Foundation Commits $20 million in COVID-19 Assistance to Strengthen Global Pandemic Preparedness and Support Vulnerable Communities
News release, March 19, 2020
NEW YORK – The Rockefeller Foundation is committing $20 million to create a better tracking and management system for COVID-19 and address the needs of America’s workers, families, and vulnerable communities around the world. The Foundation is supporting efforts in these key focus areas: new technologies to accelerate current and future pandemic preparedness and response capabilities around the world, and systemic change to close the gaps this crisis has highlighted for those in need. The Rockefeller Foundation will also provide key assistance and support in the cities where it operates, especially Bellagio, Italy; New York, NY; Washington, DC; Nairobi, Kenya; and Bangkok, Thailand.
“This global pandemic has exposed the reality that too many Americans cannot meet their basic needs, and globally, too many communities lack the resources and technologies to adequately track, mitigate, and overcome this disease,” said Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, President of The Rockefeller Foundation. “The Rockefeller Foundation is ready to work in partnership with others to identify, invest, and scale-up solutions in the communities we serve here at home and around the world.”
Families Facing Economic Challenges
The COVID-19 pandemic has placed a spotlight on the failure of the American dream. Forty percent of Americans lack $400 in savings to address emergencies. Nearly 40 million Americans struggle with food insecurity, with 30 million schoolchildren across the country relying on school meals for sustenance twice a day. The Foundation will be providing immediate assistance designed to help workers, families, and the most vulnerable communities dealing with a new reality that includes lost wages and increasing food and housing insecurity. The Rockefeller Foundation recently announced a $65 million commitment to working families, promoting the use of proven innovations, effective economic policies, and investments in people and places that build a stronger safety net.
Data-Driven Public Health
In keeping with its tradition of founding and supporting the practice of public health, the Foundation will support innovations that enable countries to respond better to the current outbreak and build capacity to identify and mitigate the spread of disease in future public health emergencies. In particular, its work will:
align with and leverage the Foundation’s work to develop or enhance data-science tools geared towards rapid tracking and predicting the direction of a pandemic and
explore developing a pandemic-response tool to help civil society and governments track how they are responding and managing their response.
A challenge this large requires partners and the alignment of resources to reach the scale and scope needed to bend the COVID-19 curve. The Rockefeller Foundation will continue to work with other foundations, organizations, and investors to deepen its impact around these two critical focus areas. Through collaboration, these efforts will help vulnerable communities get through and beyond these current challenges while strengthening underlying health systems – so the world is better prepared to respond to future pandemics when they arise.
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About The Rockefeller Foundation
The Rockefeller Foundation advances new frontiers of science, data, and innovation to solve global challenges related to health, food, power, and economic mobility. As a science-driven philanthropy focused on building collaborative relationships with partners and grantees, The Rockefeller Foundation seeks to inspire and foster large-scale human impact that promotes the well-being of humanity throughout the world by identifying and accelerating breakthrough solutions, ideas, and conversations. For more information, sign up for our newsletter at rockefellerfoundation.org and follow us on Twitter @RockefellerFdn.
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