Some of the world’s top performers stepped in to help the World Health Organization (WHO) raise more than $127 million during the coronavirus pandemic by taking part in the One World: Together at Home broadcast.
On Sunday, the international advocacy organization Global Citizen, together with Lady Gaga, announced $127.9 million in commitments to date in support of health-care workers in the fight against the pandemic.
Corporate partners and philanthropists announced their support for the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the WHO, powered by the UN Foundation, during the One World: Together at Home global broadcast event.
Donations to the fund will support the WHO’s work around the world, the vaccine development alliance Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and UNICEF.
The Together at Home effort will also aid over 100 additional local and regional charities that will receive funds, including Education Cannot Wait, Direct Care, Feeding America and United Way, among others.
Global Citizen shared the news through a breaking announcement on Twitter on Sunday.
“$127.9 million for COVID-19 relief. That is the power and impact of One World: #TogetherAtHome. Thank you @LadyGaga for helping @GlblCtzn create this historic global broadcasting event,” the tweet read. “To everyone around the world: Stay strong, stay safe, we will be together in person soon.”
The historic, eight-hour, globally promoted special garnered unprecedented worldwide distribution, reaching billions. More than 60 global broadcast networks across more than 175 countries, as well as nine digital platforms and hundreds of affiliates, celebrated and supported brave health-care workers doing life-saving work on the front lines.
For six hours on Saturday, the special featured dozens of artists from around the globe who performed from their homes via livestream. Celebrities and musicians — among them Jack Black, Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Hudson, BTS, Billy Ray Cyrus and Adam Lambert — reiterated social-distancing and hand-washing recommendations to a worldwide audience.
Canadian Jessie Reyez performed her song Coffin on an acoustic guitar, and Hudson sang the haunting Memory from the musical Cats.
Along with the performances, the special showcased stories of individual people fighting COVID-19 on the front lines and beyond.
At 8 p.m., the show switched gears and moved to broadcast as well. Musicians like Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, Shawn Mendes, Camila Cabello, Billie Eilish, Burna Boy and Elton John performed, among many others. The talent list was jaw-dropping in its scope: several of the artists, like John and Pearl Jam lead singer Eddie Vedder, have had to postpone entire tours in 2020 due to the novel coronavirus spread.
Gaga, who led the curation of the remarkable roster of talent, opened the two-hour broadcast special with a rendition of the Nat King Cole classic Smile.
On April 6, during the opening statements of a WHO media briefing, Gaga “proudly” revealed that with the help of “68 generous corporations,” she had helped to raise more than US$35 million for the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.
The Bad Romance singer said the proceeds would go towards essential personal protective equipment supplies and testing kits around the world, among many other things.
She commended front-line health-care workers and medical professionals during her speech and said that One World: Together at Home would serve ultimately as a “love letter” for medical professionals.
Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:
Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.
Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.
To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.
For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.
— With files from the Associated Press and Global News’ Chris JancelewiczView link »