Greta Thunberg gave $100,000 prize money to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to help combat the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
In recognition of her global activism, Danish non-governmental organization Human Act awarded Thunberg with the money, which made her lead millions of young people in schools and even challenge world leaders for their inaction against climate change.
Rather than keep the money, the 17-year-old activist decided to use it to launch a child-rights driven campaign in support of UNICEF’s efforts to address the outbreak and provide protection and support to children from the direct and indirect consequences of the pandemic.
Reports said Human Act followed Greta’s lead and matched the donation, kicking off the campaign with a grand total of $200,000.
Proceeds from the campaign will directly go towards UNICEF’s emergency programs to combat the outbreak and provide today’s essential such as soap, masks, gloves, hygiene kits, and protective equipment to healthcare systems.
UNICEF will also make sure those in need will receive life-saving information and support necessary to help them through the outbreak.
In a press release, Thunberg commented on the donation explaining:
“Like the climate crisis, the [virus] is a child-rights crisis. It will affect all children, now and in the long-term, but vulnerable groups will be impacted the most.
I’m asking everyone to step up and join me in support of UNICEF’s vital work to save children’s lives, to protect health and continue education.”
Though reports say children appear to have been less affected by the direct health effects of the virus, a report released by the United Nations has warned authorities regarding the profound effect that is seen to manifest on the overall wellbeing of children.
Across the globe, children are being affected by the socio-economic impacts and by the measures performed to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director commented:
“The coronavirus pandemic is the greatest struggle the world has seen in generations.
Children and young people are among the most severely impacted by the knock-on effects… so it is only natural that they would want to do something about it. Through her activism, Greta Thunberg has proven that young people are ready to take a stand and lead change in the world.
UNICEF is very pleased that Greta and her supporters have not only chosen to take a stand against this pandemic, but to do so in partnership with UNICEF.”
UNICEF seeks to reduce the effects of the virus by working with partners to make sure essential services continue while initiatives to reduce the spread of the virus stays in place.
Essential services include ensuring easy access to key supplies and services and supporting governments with the procurement of PPE for medical workers, supporting distance learning opportunities, giving mental health and psychosocial support, and helping maintain essential immunization and other services for children.
As Thunberg joins UNICEF in the fight against the coronavirus, she is also continuing to raise awareness for the climate crisis through online platforms.