New Delhi: Latter-day Saint Charities, the humanitarian arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, announced today a US$20 million grant to support UNICEF’s global work with the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, and the vaccines arm of the ACT Accelerator called the COVAX Facility.
This grant complements Latter-day Saint Charities’ US$3 million donation in 2020 to facilitate UNICEF’s urgent COVID- 19 response, providing water, sanitation and hygiene services.
The new grant will contribute to UNICEF’s historic efforts in leading the procurement and supply of 2 billion COVID-19 vaccines to around 196 participating COVAX countries and economies by the end of 2021. The initial 2 billion doses are intended to protect frontline health care and social workers, as well as high risk and vulnerable people.
The donation will also support UNICEF as it works with countries to strengthen their cold and supply chains, train health workers, address misinformation and build trust in vaccines and in the health systems delivering them.
“COVID-19 is the first truly global crisis we have seen in our lives. No matter where we live, the pandemic affects every person, including children. There has never been a more urgent need to work together. This grant for our important role in COVAX, from Latter-day Saint Charities, is the single biggest donation from a private sector partner that we’ve received to date,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “We hope that their generosity inspires other organizations, businesses and individuals to help us ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.”
Through the COVAX Facility – together with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, WHO and CEPI – UNICEF is leveraging its unique experience in vaccine procurement and delivery, and its strengths and reach in community engagement to build demand and acceptance for vaccines. The response aims to accelerate the end of the pandemic and minimize disruption to the lives of children by protecting health and social care workers around the world, including educators and primary caregivers.
“We express gratitude to UNICEF’s team and organization. They have done so much to care for children, and their families, and help them meet basic needs and fulfill their potential,” said Bishop Gérald Caussé, Presiding Bishop, of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “As more adults in vulnerable communities are vaccinated, critical health, nutritional, and educational services for children in need will be able to resume. We hold hope in our hearts, not only of overcoming the pandemic, but of seeing a brighter future for all children, and their families.”
Latter-day Saint Charities and UNICEF USA entered into partnership in 2013, working together to support children and their families in the areas of immunization, emergency response and education and development needs of refugees.