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The Rockefeller Foundation Commits $50 Million in Funding for Global Coronavirus Response in 2020 Annual Letter: “Covid-19: Meeting This Moment”

NEW YORK – Today, Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, President of The Rockefeller Foundation, shares his 2020 Annual Letter, “Covid-19: Meeting This Moment.” In the letter, the Foundation announces an additional $30 million for Covid-19-related programs worldwide, including $15 million for a national action plan to expand testing and more safely reopen the U.S. economy – and get America back to work. After announcing $20 million on March 19, 2020, this brings the total committed by the Foundation for its global response to the pandemic to $50 million.

“While this virus may be a natural phenomenon,” writes Dr. Shah, “the crisis it both reveals and exacerbates is manmade. This moment must be a wake-up call and a turning point in the way we prevent and address calamities like this in the future.”

The letter outlines four areas that, when combined, will help beat back the coronavirus, more safely reopen economies, and prevent the next pandemic: (1) working with U.S. cities and states to use science and data to protect people; (2) boosting the rapid expansion of testing to help re-start the U.S. economy in a safer way and serve as a model for others worldwide; (3) building public-private coalitions that can procure and distribute personal protective equipment (PPE) in a sustained and active way; and (4) creating an early warning and response system to address the potential reemergence of Covid-19 and prevent future pandemics.

Dr. Shah underscores the Foundation’s efforts to help millions of people across the United States who are struggling to make ends meet and feed their families during this crisis.

Even before this pandemic, 53 million people (or 44 percent of U.S. workers) earned low wages, with a similar percentage lacking $400 in savings to address emergencies and one in five kids going hungry. “The Rockefeller Foundation,” emphasizes Dr. Shah, “is committed to making sure every family in America can access the resources they need to weather this crisis. So is our network of grantees and partners.”

To address the potential reemergence of Covid-19 and prevent future pandemics, the Foundation is leveraging its long history of strengthening public health systems worldwide to build new connections between its existing public health grantees and partners and major companies and banks. In addition, Dr. Shah writes, “We are working to expand the capacity of supply chains to produce and distribute these critically-needed protective commodities—here in the United States, and particularly in Africa.”

Over the last three years, The Rockefeller Foundation has evolved to better meet the challenges of this moment and others facing humanity, aligning its resources to fight poverty, inequality, hunger, preventable disease, and climate change in the United States and around the world.

This is why, writes Dr. Shah, that “we invest in science, and help educate and train the next generation of researchers.” It is why the Foundation collaborates outside the typical philanthropic space—private companies, investors, academics, community organizations, policy experts, frontline workers, and beyond. Doing so, writes Dr. Shah, allows The Rockefeller Foundation “to come up with the best, most sustainable solutions to problems that won’t be solved with philanthropy alone. And it’s why we use the tools of the market to help rational economic actors act not only in their self-interest but also in the interest of the world.”

To read the letter in its entirety, visit

About The Rockefeller Foundation

The Rockefeller Foundation advances new frontiers of science, data, and innovation to solve global challenges related to health, food, power, and economic mobility. As a science-driven philanthropy focused on building collaborative relationships with partners and grantees, The Rockefeller Foundation seeks to inspire and foster large-scale human impact that promotes the well-being of humanity throughout the world by identifying and accelerating breakthrough solutions, ideas, and conversations. For more information, sign up for our newsletter at and follow us on Twitter @RockefellerFdn.

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