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, multistakeholder cooperation can mitigate the risk and impact of this unprecedented global health emergency.
In response to this emergency, the World Economic Forum, acting as partner to the World Health Organization (WHO), has launched the COVID Action Platform. The platform is 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.
The COVID Action Platform will focus on three priorities:
- Galvanize the global business community for collective action
- Protect people’s livelihoods and facilitate business continuity
- Mobilize cooperation and business support for the COVID-19 response
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, organizational 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.
“COVID-19 is causing health emergencies and economic disruptions that no single stakeholder can address,” said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum. “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.”
“The private sector has an essential role to play in combating this public health crisis through their expertise, innovation and resources,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO. “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.
Working with the Pandemic Supply Chain Network, one of the projects which will initially be launched on the Platform aims to strengthen supply chains to ensure that COVID-19 essential health commodities are available, accessible, affordable and of good quality.
Other actions will include supporting mechanisms for business donations to the public health response and the development of available and accessible vaccines, diagnostics, treatments and protective equipment, as well as tracking the economic impact of the virus, while pursuing collaboration to address disruptions.