Bloomberg Philanthropies is set to join other billionaire philanthropists who are making efforts to tackle the global COVID-19 pandemic as it partners with the World Health Organization (WHO) and Vital Strategies, a public health organization that partners with local governments on health issues.
On Tuesday, 17th March 2020, Mike Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City announced that Bloomberg Philanthropies will support immediate action particularly in Africa, to stop the spread of corona virus with a sum of $40million. This is targeted to reducing the spread of COVID-19 in vulnerable low- and middle-income countries.
The funds are committed to financially aid rapid response teams to prevent and detect infection, train health care workers, develop lab networks to amplify testing capabilities, and measure containment strategies and the cancellation of mass gatherings.
In addition to the partnership with WHO and Vital Strategies, Bloomberg will also be working with Dr. Thomas Frieden, the former Director of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and former Commissioner of the New York City Health Department during Bloomberg’s term as mayor.
In a press release announcing the $40 Million Coronavirus Global Response Initiative, Bloomberg said, “Millions of lives depend on getting the coronavirus response right – and so does the economic and social health of communities around the world. We need to slow transmission of the virus and minimize the impact of the outbreak in all countries.”
This is a good development for the international community as a whole, not just countries tagged “vulnerable low- and middle-income countries.” COVID-19 has rapidly become a global pandemic and all countries need the necessary support they can get to tackle the spread of the virus.
There have been several financial commitments made to African countries to tackle the COVID-19 global pandemic. Just recently, Melinda Gates Foundation, pledged over $125 million to fight the pandemic. As these funds flow into the continent, it is very important that a concrete structure and transparent expenditure plan is developed so that the value of the funds in response to outputs made towards tackling COVID-19 is accounted for. Africa needs to avoid every form of fund mismanagement that will further soil the reputation of the continent as corrupt and careless.