The Clara Lionel Foundation, the nonprofit organization founded by Rihanna, announced this weekend that it is donating $5 million to COVID-19 efforts across the globe. In a release, it said it will be supporting “on-the-ground partners working on the frontlines of disaster response, especially those focused on protecting and serving marginalized communities.” It cited groups doing so such as Direct Relief, Feeding America, Partners in Health, The World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, and the International Rescue Committee.
Among other initiatives, the foundation’s funds will go towards supporting local food banks for at-risk communities in the U.S., accelerating testing and care in countries such as Haiti and Malawi, mobilizing resources and support for Native communities, training healthcare workers, and providing equipment for frontline health workers (many of whom are currently grappling with a shortage of masks, breathing equipment, and more). It also plans to “help establish and maintain intensive care units, and accelerate the development of vaccines and other therapies.”
“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, the executive director of the Clara Lionel Foundation, in a release.
Founded in 2012 by Rihanna—in honor of her grandparents, Clara and Lionel Braithwaite—the foundation typically focuses on emergency response and preparedness, proving aid during natural disasters. In the past, they have particularly focused on efforts across the Caribbean and Sub-Saharan Africa, but its new COVID-19 efforts will now help bring its resources across the globe.
Rihanna joins a number of fellow celebrities who are doing their part to combat the coronavirus: this week, singer Ciara and husband Russell Wilson have donated one million meals to Food Lifeline, which provides “food to more than 300 food banks, shelters and meal programs across Western Washington.” Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds also pledged $1 million to food banks in the U.S. and Canada that are currently overwhelmed with demand.