WHO head thanks Usher for backing global coronavirus fund

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The head of the World Health Organisation has thanked Usher for sharing a global campaign raising funds to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

The WHO has launched an unprecedented Solidarity Response Fund, co-ordinated by the United Nations Foundation and the Swiss Philanthropy Foundation, to internationally fund the effort to tackle the coronavirus outbreak.

Other groups are involved in the effort, including international anti-poverty group Global Citizen which is partnering with the WHO and calling on specific governments to increase their support.

The Yeah! singer shared the Global Citizen campaign in a tweet to his 12.2 million followers.

Responding to the musician’s post on Saturday, WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus wrote: “Thanks for your support Usher. We’re all in this together, and only together can we stop coronavirus from spreading.”

The first-of-its-kind fund enables individuals as well as corporations and institutions to co-ordinate their fundraising efforts.

The campaign comes after the virus was declared a pandemic on March 11 and more than 137,000 people have been affected with over 5,000 deaths worldwide.

As part of the fundraising effort, Facebook and Google have instituted a matching scheme for funds raised through their platforms.

Switzerland Virus Outbreak Pandemic Q And A
Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus has been providing daily updates on the coronavirus pandemic (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP)

“A lot of people and institutions have been saying they want to contribute to the fight against the novel coronavirus. Now they can.”

The WHO estimates at least 675 million US dollars (£550 million) will be needed through to the end of April 2020 to tackle the pandemic, with greater funding needed as it evolves.

The raised funds will help all countries to respond to the pandemic by financing protective equipment for frontline health workers, upgrading and equipping laboratories and intensive care units as well as funding research into vaccines and therapeutics.

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