UNITED STATES. New York: The Latter-day Saints Charity has donated $20 million to UNICEF for enhancing the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) facility at an event held in New York.
Among other initiatives, the money will help to boost the COVAX facility. This arrangement will enable countries to access funding for the purchase of COVID-19 vaccines.
Gerald Cause who is the Bishop of Church of Latter-day Saints, runs the charitable organization. In a statement, he said that his institution was pleased with how the UN agency is handling efforts to mitigate effects of COVID-19 to the vulnerable.
“We express gratitude to UNICEF and partner organizations. They have done so much to help children and their families in assisting them meet their basic needs and fulfil their potential,” said the Bishop.
He added that as more adults in vulnerable communities are vaccinated, critical health, nutritional and educational services for children in need will resume.
Collaboration with UNICEF
UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore said that she hopes the generosity shown by Latter day- saints Charity will inspire other organisations and individuals to help in the equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.
“COVID-19 is firstly, truly a global crisis we have seen in our lives. No matter where we live, the pandemic affects every person including children. There is never been a more urgent need to work together. This grant for our important role in COVAX from the Latter Day saints is the single biggest donation from the private sector we have received to date,” she said.
In 2020 The Latter-day- Saints Charity donated $3 million for the procurement and supply of 2 billion vaccines globally.
UNICEF USA and the Latter-day Saints charity have been in partnership since 2013.
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Other key stakeholders in the COVAX facility include Coalition For Epidemic Preparedness Innovations( CEPI), World Health Organisation, Gavi, and The Vaccine Alliance.
Over 196 countries will benefit from the COVAX facility, including Africa’s Ivory Coast which rolled out its vaccination program on March 1.