Alwaleed Philanthropies has announced a $30 million commitment in support of efforts to address the health and economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, including the manufacture of rapid diagnostic tests for use in developing countries and efforts to mitigate long-term economic fallout from the public health crisis.
The commitment includes significant contributions to UN-Habitat in support of an initiative to improve water, sanitation, and hygiene in vulnerable communities and to create or rehabilitate shelter and housing to reduce overcrowding and enable social/physical distancing, and to the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO) in support of efforts to empower women and young entrepreneurs on the African continent and support the production of hygiene products and protective equipment.
The Riyadh-based philanthropic organization also announced that it is partnering with Gates Philanthropy Partners on a number of projects aimed at accelerating the development of therapeutics and delivery of diagnostics to protect vulnerable populations across Africa, including support for the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, and is building on its relationship with Seattle-based Splash to provide clean water and promote hand washing in rural and urban areas in South Asia and Africa. Additional commitments include support for GAVI's efforts to reach remote areas with innovative vaccine solutions and to strengthen the World Health Organization's capacity to rapidly procure and build a stockpile of emergency medical supplies.
"In these times of unprecedented crisis it is more important now than ever that we pull our resources together in the battle against COVID-19," said Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. "With many developed nations struggling to cope with the Covid-19 pandemic, we must spare a thought for the developing countries of Africa and the less fortunate countries in the Middle East. Alwaleed Philanthropies has a forty-year history of supporting development and humanitarian initiatives that lift up the most vulnerable people and bridge the gaps that divide society, we will continue to do so in the face of the pandemic."