By Nelson A. King
NEW YORK, New York April 21, 2020 (CMC) – Barbadian singing superstar, Rihanna, says her Clara Lionel Foundation (CLF) is expanding support for the COVID-19 global response.
CLF said it has collaborated with Twitter and Square Chief Executive Officer, Jack Dorsey, and Jay Z’s Shawn Carter Foundation (SCF), in releasing US$6.2 million in grants, for COVID-19 rapid response efforts in the US and the Caribbean, among other places.
It said the grants, distributed across 11 organizations, will support efforts that include: providing shelter, food and healthcare services to homeless youth in New Orleans; building virus-testing capacity across the Caribbean; and setting up intensive care units (ICUs), hospital beds and isolation units in sub-Saharan Africa, among others.
For the Caribbean, specifically, the funds will provide direct relief to support purchasing of testing cartridges, to build COVID-19 testing capacity in St. Lucia, Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Antigua and Barbuda.
CLF said this grant will also support the provision of medicine kits, needed in hospital ICUs, to over five additional locations throughout the Caribbean.
In the United States and Puerto Rico, it said, the funds will, among other things, give direct support of cash transfers to low-income families in the mainland US, as well as in Puerto Rico; support the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City; to support the Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence (ENDGBV); and “to support domestic violence survivors, who need a capital injection, to ensure their safety and stability during COVID-19”.
CLF said micro grants will allow the financing of immediate needs of food, clothing, temporary housing, and more, in New York City.
The grant will also aid Covenant House New Orleans to support shelter, food, clothing, counseling, and medicine for homeless, at-risk and trafficked youth, “many of whom are jobless at the moment”.
CLF said the funds will support six months of shelter, food, medical attention and supplies for homeless youth.
Internationally, CLF said grants will, among others, go towards Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) to support COVID-19 response efforts, in the hardest-to-reach and most-vulnerable areas of the world.
CLF added that funds will go towards COVID-19 case management, training, set-up of ICU and hospital beds and isolation units, and development of response guidelines and best practices.
The Foundation stressed that “as the urgency of the coronavirus outbreak accelerates, so does the need for rapid responses and expanded preparedness efforts”.
“There are a number of populations, who are especially vulnerable during this pandemic — those who are undocumented, incarcerated, elderly and homeless, as well as children of frontline health workers and first responders,” said Justine Lucas, CLF’s Executive Director. “Now more than ever, we need to support organizations, prioritizing the health and rights of these individuals.”