As various celebrities step up in the wake of the new coronavirus pandemic, Rihanna has donated $5 Million to fight COVID-19 via her Clara Lionel Foundation, the organization announced on its official website. "When we first began this year, never could we have imagined how COVID-19 would so dramatically alter our lives," read the 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."
The Clara Lionel Foundation, which Rihanna founded in 2012 in honor of her grandparents, said they provided the funds "to immediately mobilize a broad response working with on-the-ground partners," which include: Direct Relief, Feeding America, Partners in Health, The World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, and the International Rescue Committee, among others.
The grants are intended to support local food banks "serving at-risk communities and the elderly" in the United States; testing and care in countries such as Haiti and Malawi; protective equipment for 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; healthcare worker training, virus prevention and containment in countries that will be on the front lines 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," the foundation concluded its announcement. "Protecting our frontline health workers and marginalized communities around the world requires getting ahead of it FAST. The time to act is now." Those who wish to do so can donate to the Clara Lionel Foundation here.
As Justine Lucas, Executive Director of the Clara Lionel Foundation, added in a statement via Billboard, "marginalized and underserved communities . . . will be hit the hardest by this pandemic." She also stressed the importance of protection and preparation for those most heavily impacted.
If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and coughing, call NHS 111 in the UK or visit the CDC website in the U.S. for up-to-date information and resources. You can find all Bustle’s coverage of coronavirus here, and UK-specific updates on coronavirus here.