The humanitarian arm of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Latter-day Saint Charities, announced today a US$20 million grant towards UNICEF’s push to procure and distribute 2 billion vaccines in about 196 participating COVAX countries by the end of 2021. The grant complements the Church’s earlier US$3 million donations in 2020 to facilitate the urgent need for COVID-19 response.
The new grant will also support UNICEF as it works with countries to strengthen its cold and supply chains, train health workers, address misinformation, and build trust in vaccines.
“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 Henrietta Fore, UNICEF executive director. “We hope that their generosity inspires other organizations, businesses and individuals to help us ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.”
Through the partners of UNICEF, the vaccines will be given to medical frontliners, social care workers, and those who are vulnerable to the virus. The response aims to accelerate the end of the pandemic and minimize the disruption to the lives of the children.
“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. “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.”
Some 600,000 doses of vaccine are already on their way to Ghana and the Ivory Coast.
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.
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