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Latter-day Saint Church commits $20M for global vaccination effort

COVAX Vaccine Effort
Posted at 6:06 AM, Feb 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-26 08:06:12-05

SALT LAKE CITY — Latter-day Saint Charities, the humanitarian arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is giving a $20 million grant to UNICEF to help distribute 2 billion COVID-19 vaccines in about 196 countries by the end of the year.

The 2 billion doses are intended for frontline workers, social workers, and high-risk and vulnerable people.

“COVID-19 is the first truly global crisis we have seen in our lives. No matter where we live, the pandemic affects every person, including children. There has never been a more urgent need to work together. This grant for our important role in COVAX, from Latter-day Saint Charities, is the single biggest donation from a private sector partner that we’ve received to date,” said Henrietta Fore, UNICEF executive director, in a Latter-day Saint Charities news release. “We hope that their generosity inspires other organizations, businesses and individuals to help us ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.”

Last year, Latter-day Saint Charities donated $3 million to UNICEF’s urgent COVID-19 response to provide water, sanitation and hygiene services.

UNICEF is the world's largest vaccine buyer and, each year, it supplies over 2 billion vaccinations to about 45 percent of the world's population of children under 5.