WEF Seeks Private Sector Partnership against COVID-19

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In response to global emergency caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19), the World Economic Forum (WEF), acting as partner to the World Health Organisation (WHO), has launched the COVID Action Platform.

The platform was intended to catalyse private-sector support for the global public health response to COVID-19, and to do so at the scale and speed required to protect lives and livelihoods, aiming to find ways to help end the global emergency as soon as possible.

According to a statement, the COVID Action Platform would focus on three priorities: Galvanise the global business community for collective action; protect people’s livelihoods and facilitate business continuity, and mobilise cooperation and business support for the COVID-19 response.

A statement from WEF explained that, “The dramatic spread of COVID-19 has disrupted lives, livelihoods, communities and businesses worldwide. But the sum of many individual actions by stakeholders around the world will not add up to a sufficient response. Only coordinated action by business, combined with global, multi-stakeholder cooperation can mitigate the risk and impact of this unprecedented global health emergency.

“The COVID Action Platform is open to all global businesses and industry groups, as well as other stakeholders, including governments, that wish to team up with the private sector on their response. The platform will operate a network where CEOs, organisational leaders and designated COVID-19 corporate responders can offer their help and team up on specific projects, launch actions and keep each other informed of best practices.”

According to the Founder/Executive Chairman, WEF, Klaus Schwab, “COVID-19 is causing health emergencies and economic disruptions that no single stakeholder can address. Our best and only response to it should be to take concerted action. The COVID Action Platform is at the centre of our mission and we draw upon all our members and partners, communities and capabilities to make it a success.”

On his part, the Director-General, WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said: “The private sector has an essential role to play in combating this public health crisis through their expertise, innovation and resources.
“We call on companies and organizations around the world to make full use of this platform in support of the global public health response to COVID-19.”

The COVID Action Platform was conceived after a World Economic Forum conference call with over 200 corporate leaders from all over the world. It is supported by WHO and the Wellcome Trust and is the first initiative of its kind, operating globally. The Forum has established a special team to support the platform’s work.