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Members of UNICEF’s International Council pen open letter asking philanthropists to support charity’s vaccine work

Melanie May | 21 May 2021 | News

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UNICEF’s International Council, a collective of over 70 individual philanthropic partners committed to improving children’s lives, have penned an open letter urging other philanthropists to join them in supporting UNICEF’s work with COVAX.

In the letter, the Council members highlight that everyone has a vested interest in ensuring the Covid-19 vaccines are shared rapidly and equitably worldwide, and that philanthropists like themselves are uniquely placed to respond, and to help UNICEF close funding gaps and accelerate rollout.

UNICEF is the key delivery partner of the COVAX facility and is aiming to help deliver at least two billion vaccine doses by the end of 2021 in more than 180 countries. However, it needs an estimated US$659 million this year to help it do so, according to the letter – a gap that private funding could help fill.


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The co-writers say:

“We believe private philanthropists are uniquely placed to respond to this global emergency and help UNICEF close the funding gaps – an estimated need of US$659 million this year. Thanks to the agility and speed of private grant making, our funds can help accelerate the vaccine roll-out, respond quickly to changing circumstances, and enable UNICEF to work with countries not just to deliver vaccines to people but to invest in sustainable improvements in health-care systems, tackle misinformation, and engage communities.”

As well as the letter, members of the council have also created a video sharing their message.

What is the UNICEF International Council?

A global community of individuals who have all made significant philanthropic commitments to the charity, each member of the UNICEF International Council is committed to improving children’s lives, not just through funding but also through giving time, and leveraging their perspectives and networks.

The Council hosts an annual symposium, as well as thematic working groups and other engagement opportunities, to enable members to learn from each other, interact with the UNICEF leadership team and identify opportunities for collaboration and joint investment. Working with the charity, members seek to identify the most pressing challenges facing children worldwide and show how strategic philanthropy can help.