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The dramatic spread of COVID-19 has disrupted lives, livelihoods, communities and businesses worldwide.

Organizations around the world, including the Forum and its partners, are coming together and finding innovative ways to minimize the impact on public health and to limit disruptions to economies and supply chains.

Here are just some ways Forum partners, corporations and other organizations globally are finding new ways to tackle the pandemic.

Nestlé provides emergency help – donating food, medical nutrition products, bottled water & CHF 10 million to countries in greatest need

Nestlé has stepped up its humanitarian efforts in the response to COVID-19 by partnering with the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to provide urgent help to emergency services, caregivers, and to strengthen health systems.

The company, a Strategic Partner of the World Economic Forum and member of our COVID Action Platform, will donate food, medical nutrition products and bottled water to bring relief to those most affected by the pandemic.

Nestlé has immediately made a donation of CHF 10 million for countries most in need, and will deploy available logistics capacities to support the needs of IFRC in countries around the world.

Millions of face masks donated to the frontline in the US and Europe

Tim Cook, Chief Executive Officer of Apple has announced this week that the company has sourced, procured and is donating 10 million masks to the medical community in the United States, and millions more for the European regions hit hardest by the COVID-19 pand

Along with frontline health employees, Apple has recognized and thanked essential workers across the supply chain – from warehouse and delivery workers to those stocking supermarket shelves – for their tireless efforts to deliver vital services in the face of COVID-19.

Other major tech companies globally have also pledged to donate face masks as a frontline defence against coronavirus. It is one example of how organizations are mobilizing cooperation and business support for the COVID-19 response.

HP CEO calls on companies and business leaders to step up their response to COVID-19

After HP committed to donating millions of dollars in technology and support to help students, families, and communities, President and CEO Enrique Lores issued a call-to-action to companies and business leaders globally to step forward and play a more significant role in overcoming obstacles during the coronavirus crisis, creating opportunities for the future.

Along with the support for employees, HP Inc is designing and producing essential parts for medical responders and hospitals, thanks to its 3D Printing team and Digital Manufacturing Partner Network.

If companies are struggling to know where to begin in harnessing their efforts to respond to the crisis – they are invited join the Forum’s COVID Action Platform, to connect with other businesses, governments and civil society to respond to the world’s greatest needs during the spread of COVID-19.

Healthcare financing comes to low-income countries fighting a virus that doesn’t respect borders

The public-private global health partnership GAVI, founded at the World Economic Forum in 2000, protects people’s health by increasing access to immunization in poor countries.

Today, GAVI is giving emerging economies the tools to fight Coronavirus by allowing certain low-income countries to reallocate 10% of grants to their COVID-19 response.

This will allow countries to improve hygiene and infection control training for health workers, boost infection control supplies, and increase laboratory testing until funds being allocated by the global community for the COVID response are available.

The organization is working with WHO, CEPI, World Bank, UNICEF and partners from across the healthcare industry to accelerate priority candidate COVID-19 vaccines.

Since its launch 20 years ago GAVI has contributed to the immunization of 760 million children, and saved more than 13 million lives.

Production of critical care products increases, helping patients diagnosed with COVID-19

Royal Philips, a global leader in health technology and Strategic Partner of the World Economic Forum, announced this week an increase in the production of critical care products and solutions to help diagnose and treat patients with coronavirus.

From vital signs monitors and portable ventilators to medical consumables to treat a broad range of respiratory conditions, a variety of products are needed to prepare for, respond to and ensure the recovery of patients diagnosed with COVID-19.

Diagnostic imaging systems and hospital telehealth solutions from Philips will also assist in the monitoring and management of patients in intensive care units – while also connecting caregivers and patients at home.

Soaring numbers of new coronavirus patients are putting the world’s health services under strain, and more medical experts, equipment and supplies are needed globally to fight the pandemic.

AstraZeneca donates 9 million face masks to support healthcare workers worldwide, starts shipment to Italy

After announcing it will donate nine million face masks to support healthcare workers worldwide in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, AstraZeneca has today (Wednesday 25 March) sent the first shipment of face masks to Italy.

The organization made the donation as part of its partnership with the World Economic Forum’s COVID Action Platform. Italy will receive the first shipments of face masks, with other countries to follow.

Organizations globally are invited to partner with the Forum’s COVID Action Platform, which ensures global cooperation among governments, international organizations and the business community in response to the spread of COVID-19.

Companies can join the platform and contribute to the fight against the COVID-19 outbreak through initiatives like AstraZeneca’s donation, here.


Also read: Modi’s CV is full of crisis management experience, but war on Covid may be his toughest job


World’s biggest soap company announces free sanitizer, soap, bleach and food worth €100 million

Unilever acts to help meet global demand for more soap to be made readily available to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Among a range of measuresannounced by the company today (Tuesday, 24 March), is the commitment to provide free soap, sanitizer, bleach and food to the value of €100 million – with half of the donation going to the World Economic Forum’s COVID Action Platform.

The company said that until there is a vaccine for COVID-19, soap remains our best first line of defence. Unilever has launched initiatives in the US, India, China, UK, Netherlands, Italy and other countries around the world, with teams manufacturing and distributing millions of bars of free soap to those most in need.

Unilever has acknowledged their responsibility to help fight this pandemic – including teaching people around the world how to wash their hands effectively. It’s a strong response, set to inspire other companies to play their part and make a difference.

The company said that until there is a vaccine for COVID-19, soap remains our best first line of defence. Unilever has launched initiatives in the US, India, China, UK, Netherlands, Italy and other countries around the world, with teams manufacturing and distributing millions of bars of free soap to those most in need.


Also read: Here’s how India can help the disabled during 21-day coronavirus lockdown


The first human trial of a COVID-19 vaccine was administered in mid-March

The first Phase 1 study for a COVID-19 vaccine began in mid-March. Forty-five volunteers are expected to participate in the trial. The vaccine itself will not be available to the general public for at least a year to ensure if it is both safe and effective.

The Phase 1 study received funding support from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI). CEPI was launched at the World Economic Forum in 2017. The organization this week announced their seventh COVID-19 vaccine project in the fight against the pandemic.

CEPI brings together experts from government, business, health, academia and civil society to accelerate the development of vaccines against emerging infectious diseases and to enable access to these vaccines during outbreaks.

The Phase 1 study received funding support from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI). CEPI was launched at the World Economic Forum in 2017. The organization this week announced their seventh COVID-19 vaccine project in the fight against the pandemic.

CEPI brings together experts from government, business, health, academia and civil society to accelerate the development of vaccines against emerging infectious diseases and to enable access to these vaccines during outbreaks.

Coalitions like CEPI are made possible through public-private partnerships. The World Economic Forum is the global platform for stakeholder engagement, bringing together a range of leaders from business, government and civil society to improve the state of the world. You can partner directly with our Platform for Shaping the Future of Health and Healthcare to contribute to global health solutions.

Using biology to accelerate the search for potential COVID-19 vaccine

As coronavirus disrupts communities and economies around the world, the race is on to develop a COVID-19 vaccine and the world is watching.

Synthetic biology company Ginkgo Bioworks is bringing its research and development experience into the fight against the pandemic and is speeding up the development of a vaccine by bringing together different teams who are working on an inoculation.

The company, which is part of the Forum Vanguard community, has made a USD 25 million commitment and is working with the Forum’s Platform for Shaping the Future of Health and Healthcare to engage companies and research labs that are developing drugs or vaccines.

This effort also includes support for sharing R&D information as quickly as possible once it is discovered by academics and companies working on solutions to the pandemic.

A new plan takes COVID-19 advice across Africa

More than 600 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in 34 countries in Africa as of 19 March, according to the World Health Organization. Responding to the rapidly changing situation on a continent with specific healthcare challenges, a leading data intelligence firm has created a new plan to disseminate guidance on COVID-19 among the 42 countries of the African Union.

Through a public-private partnership, the NGO Resolve to Save Lives and the African Centre for Disease Control are working with IPSOS to gather data-driven insights which will allow them to create tailored guidelines on preventative measures on COVID-19. The coalition was able to use each partner’s expertise to make a plan within a week that could deliver this solution fast and at scale.

Universities continue teaching the next generation of leaders

Centres of learning across the world, including those which are members of the The Global University Leaders Forum (GULF) community, are responding to the coronavirus pandemic. Many have moved classes online, reduced all but critical research, and are even planning for virtual graduation ceremonies.

In response to the situation, Coursera, partners of the Forum’s Platform for Shaping the Future of the New Economy and Society, is providing universities with free access to over 3,800 courses from leading universities and companies. Through their online platform students can continue their studies in areas ranging from Computer Science to Arts and Humanities. Videos, assignments and readings are available in a range of languages and can be access via web, mobile, or download.

Crisis-affected art museums, research projects and youth organizations receive a boost in funding

The Carlsberg Foundation has launched funding for grants that will mobilize and support researchers, art museums and youth civil society in the scientific, economic and human efforts during this new era as society is challenged by the COVID-19 epidemic.

A significant investment was made to restart crisis-affected art museums in Denmark. Many art museums are temporarily closed on instructions from the authorities in connection with COVID-19, and the funding for art museums will assist with the implementation of programs that will draw guests back to museums when they reopen.

Funds were also provided for an emergency pool for civil society youth organizations to launch activities targeted at people who are particularly affected by COVID-19.

From supporting research on viruses to human behaviour, and donating to research the outbreak, spread and cessation of historical epidemics – the funding is set to encourage other businesses to invest in new ways to support the local and global economy during the coronavirus crisis.


Also read: Avoid ibuprofen, ICMR tells diabetes, hypertension, heart patients in Covid-19 FAQs


Fashion and beauty brands are shifting gears to make masks and hand sanitiser

Factories that usually produce fashion and beauty products are shifting gears and joining the fight against COVID-19.

Kering SA, the conglomerate behind luxury fashion labels Balenciaga and Saint Laurent, said it would switch factory operations to producing surgical masks for French hospitals, with the approval of health authorities.

Inditex, which owns fashion retailer Zara, said it was looking into ways to convert part of its textile manufacturing capacity in Spain to make hospital gowns.

It was also planning to donate 300,000 masks and make its logistics and supplier network available to meet demand of emergency medical supplies.

H&M has followed suit and has offered to donate and source supplies of protective masks, gowns and gloves to countries most affected in the EU.

Luxury firm LVMH, which owns Louis Vuitton, Bulgari, TAG Heuer and many other brands, will use its perfume production infrastructure to make hand sanitiser.

“LVMH will use the production lines of its perfume and cosmetic brands… to produce large quantities of hydroalcoholic gels,” the company said in a statement.

And the company is not stopping there. LVMH, a partner of the Forum, has also pledged to work with a Chinese industrial supplier to secure 10 million surgical face masks which will be distributed to French health services.

The cloud is keeping education going during the COVID-19 crisis in Bahrain

With COVID-related school closures increasing globally, across the Middle East companies are asking: how can the cloud power schools and universities to run their classes remotely?

Bahrain’s Ministry of Education has worked with the Kingdom’s Information & eGovernment Authority to create a dedicated electronic education portal – used by students to view lessons, download education materials, complete their homework online, and participate in discussions with classmates.

This, in addition to government-mandated use of the cloud, means Bahrain, with its cloud-first vision, has ensured continuity of education nationwide during the COVID crisis.

This article was originally published in the World Economic Forum.


Also read: Hydroxychloroquine, Trump’s prescription for Covid-19, gets tougher to buy in India


 

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