The Clara Lionel Foundation (CLF), founded in 2012 by Barbadian-born singing sensation Rihanna, has donated US$5 million to fight the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
CLF said it supports and funds groundbreaking education and emergency response programs around the world.
“When we first began this year, never could we have imagined how COVID-19 would so dramatically alter our lives,” said CLF in a statement. “It doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from, this pandemic will affect us all. And for the world’s most vulnerable, the worst may be yet to come.”
Over the past five years, CLF said it has been one of the first organizations to respond to some of the world’s most devastating natural disasters, adding that it has “seen firsthand the profound and unintended consequences of not being prepared.
“That’s why Clara Lionel Foundation has provided US$5 million to the following organizations to immediately mobilize a broad response working with on-the-ground partners that include Direct Relief, Feeding America, Partners in Health, The World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, the International Rescue Committee, and others.”
CLF said the funds will support local food banks serving at-risk communities and the elderly in the United States; and acceleration of testing and care in countries like Haiti and Malawi, as well as the mobilization of resources and additional capacity and support for native communities.
In addition, CLF said the funds will support protective equipment for frontline health workers and diagnostic labs, the establishment and maintenance of intensive care units, and acceleration of the development of vaccines and other therapies across the globe.
The funds will also support healthcare worker training, virus prevention and containment in countries that will be on the frontlines of the COVID-19 response; and distribution of critical respiratory supplies.
“We know that one of the most powerful weapons we have against COVID-19 is preparedness,” CLF said. “Protecting our frontline health workers and marginalized communities around the world requires getting ahead of it FAST. The time to act is now.”
Rihanna said she founded CLF in honor of her grandparents, Clara and Lionel Braithwaite.
Programs include the Clara Braithwaite Center for Oncology and Nuclear Medicine at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Barbados, and education programs.
CLF said it was established to reach “across borders to fight together for basic rights to education and health.”