Bloomberg Philanthropies will award up to $50,000 each to 18 cities in low and middle-income countries that are part of the Partnership for Healthy Cities and planning vaccine distribution rollouts with high-risk populations emphasized.
Vaccine preparedness activities, including communication campaigns, community outreach, supply setups for mass vaccination sites, enhancement of data capacity, training for healthcare workers and community leaders, along with the acquisition of critical tools for citywide coordination, will all benefit from the funding injection over a period of six months. Benefiting cities range across the world, from Bengaluru, India, and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
“Local leaders have helped spearhead the world’s response to the pandemic from the beginning, and that now includes pushing to ensure vaccinations happen as quickly as possible, especially in high-risk communities,” Michael Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and World Health Organization Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases and Injuries, said. “We’re working with cities throughout Africa, Asia, and Latin America to increase equitable vaccine access by providing much-needed support and technical assistance. This initiative will help countries save more lives – and help the whole world overcome this devastating pandemic.”
The Partnership for Healthy Cities initiative was established in 2017, with support from Bloomberg Philanthropies in partnership with the World Health Organization and Vital Strategies. Today, it includes a network for 70 cities helping one another through the COVID-19 crisis, as well as other more issues such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and more.
“The equitable distribution of vaccines is not only a moral imperative, it is also an epidemiological and economic imperative,” Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization. “As long as this virus is transmitting anywhere, the higher the chances that a variant will emerge that evades vaccines, and the longer the global economic recovery will take. We simply will not end the pandemic anywhere until we end it everywhere. These grants will support city leaders to reach some of the most vulnerable groups with vaccines.”
These funds will also support creative problem solving, such as in Rio de Janeiro, which will use them to support outreach efforts to transgender residents either without homes or stuck in otherwise high-risk or isolated situations. Transgender staff will form a team-based campaign to raise awareness and encourage vaccination among this local, high-risk population.