Rihanna pledged $5 million through her charity, the Clara Lionel Foundation, to help people impacted by the coronavirus and to fund efforts to stop the spread of the disease.
According to TMZ, the “Rude Boy” singer aims to help food banks in the U.S. who serve at-risk communities. She also hopes to increase access to necessary medical care and COVID-19 testing in countries like Malawi and Haiti. The money will also go toward helping develop a vaccine for the disease, as well as be used to train healthcare workers
On top of that, the funds will go to increasing access to supplies that nurses and doctors who are working to help the victims of the pandemic need — including protective equipment, respiratory supplies, and maintenance of intensive care units.
Funds will reportedly go to the following organizations: Direct Relief, Feeding America, Partners in Health, The World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, the International Rescue Committee, and more.
“Never has it been more important or urgent to protect and prepare marginalized and underserved communities — those who will be hit hardest by this pandemic,” said Justine Lucas, who heads the charity.
Rihanna founded the Clara Lionel Foundation in 2012 and named it to honor her grandparents, Clara and Lionel Braithwaite. The charity has funded emergency preparedness and education efforts across the globe.
Since 2014, the charity has held an annual Diamond Ball to raise funds. The event has been attended by well-known figures and celebrities such as Seth Meyers, Pharrell, Kevin Hart, Lionel Richie, and Brad Pitt. Barack Obama even made an appearance via video link in 2017, where he thanked the pop star for her charity efforts.
As a result of her philanthropy efforts, Rihanna was named Humanitarian of the Year by the Harvard Foundation in 2017. This year, she was honored by the NAACP at its 51st awards show for her contribution to global culture through beauty, fashion, and music, as The Inquisitr previously reported.
We’ve responded to COVID-19 by distributing $5 million to @PIH @DirectRelief @FeedingAmerica @rescueorg @WHO & #Barbados to prepare communities w/ critical protective gear, medical supplies, equipment and access to food across multiple regions. #CLF #HealthcareHeroes ????: @PIH pic.twitter.com/DVfSqw6gQK
— Clara Lionel Fdn (@ClaraLionelFdn) March 21, 2020
Now, the charity is turning its focus to the novel coronavirus and looking to help people who will be impacted most by the disease.
“When we first began this year, never could we have imagined how COVID-19 would so dramatically alter our lives. 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 website reads.
As of this writing, there have been approximately 300,000 cases of the disease across the globe, with nearly 12,000 deaths so far. Those not currently infected with the virus have also felt the resulting economic impact of the ongoing crisis, with businesses closing nationwide and U.S. unemployment rates increasing.