SALT LAKE CITY — The humanitarian arm for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has committed $20 million to support UNICEF's global COVID-19 vaccination effort.
The money will help UNICEF's work with the Access to the COVID-19 Tools Accelerator and its vaccination effort, called the COVAX Facility, which aims to supply two billion COVID-19 vaccines to around 196 countries by the end of the year.
The first of the two billion doses will go to frontline health care workers and high risk and vulnerable populations, according to a church news release.
"No matter where we live, the pandemic affects every person, including children. There has never been a more urgent need to work together," Henrietta Fore, UNICEF executive director, said in a statement.
The $20 million grant is the largest single donation UNICEF has ever received from a private sector partner.
"We hope that their generosity inspires other organizations, businesses and individuals to help us ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines," Fore added.
The grant is in addition to the $3 million donation from the church to UNICEF's COVID-19 response last year. Latter-day Saint Charities and UNICEF partnered in 2013 to collaborate humanitarian efforts for those in need.
"As more adults in vulnerable communities are vaccinated, critical health, nutritional and educational services for children in need will be able to resume," Bishop Gérald Caussé, presiding bishop of the church, said in a statement. We hold hope in our hearts not only of overcoming the pandemic, but of seeing a brighter future for all children and their families."