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Fund seeks donations to help WHO fight pandemic

By Wang Xiaoyu | China Daily | Updated: 2020-05-21 09:37
The World Health Organization and the China Population Welfare Foundation on Wednesday jointly launched a fund dedicated to raising donations from China's private sectors to bolster global preparedness for the COVID-19 pandemic. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

A fund that will solicit donations from China's private sector to bolster the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic was launched by the World Health Organization and the China Population Welfare Foundation on Wednesday.

The new fund represents the Chinese branch of the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for WHO, which was established in mid-March to enable individuals, corporations and philanthropists around the world to contribute directly and efficiently to WHO-led efforts to contain the virus.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who gave a video speech during the launch ceremony held in Beijing, said donations will be used to help deliver essential supplies, support research and development of treatments and vaccines and expand the health capabilities of countries with weak medical systems.

Li Jinhua, the foundation's president, said its collaboration with the WHO will boost international efforts to curb the spread of the virus, and it will continue to transcend national, racial and cultural differences to act in unity against the disease.

Nicholas Rosellini, the United Nations resident coordinator in China, said the Chinese government and the country's people have shown great agility and resilience in responding to the outbreak.

He said China's decision to commit $2 billion over two years to global COVID-19 aid is commendable, but much more will be needed from around the world to support developing countries in fighting the pandemic.

"COVID-19 is an unprecedented pandemic that requires extraordinary global solidarity," he said. "China has always been a country that attaches great importance to unity, and in unity there is strength … I now want to appeal to all the Chinese netizens to come together once more and to support others around the world in this fight."

Gauden Galea, the WHO representative in China, said the fund provides a new channel for Chinese individuals to make personal contributions to battle the disease.

"In the end, it will take all of us putting down what divides us and picking up the task in front of us to build a healthier future together," he said.

Officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Civil Affairs and the National Health Commission also attended the event.

The public can make donations through nearly 20 online fundraising platforms, including the Tencent Foundation and Alibaba Philanthropy.

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