Stamford, Conn. – March 27, 2020 – UBS Optimus Foundation has donated over $500,000 to support Americares response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds will help ensure health workers battling the outbreak in the United States and around the world have the personal protective equipment and training necessary to stay healthy and continue serving patients.
In addition, UBS Optimus Foundation will match 20 percent of the donations that clients and employees make to Americares. More than 549,000 people have been infected by the coronavirus globally and more than 24,000 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Resource Center.
“Our top concern right now is the capacity of under-resourced health systems, including those in the United States, to respond to the pandemic,” said Americares Vice President of Emergency Programs Kate Dischino. “This donation will directly support Americares response efforts and provide health workers with the tools they need to protect themselves and care for patients.”
“In the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, the UBS Optimus Foundation is pleased to support Americares emergency response efforts. During any crisis, we make it a priority to provide basic health and welfare services to the most vulnerable,” said Head UBS in Society and CEO UBS Optimus Foundation Phyllis Kurlander Costanza. “Americares has repeatedly demonstrated its ability to support communities in times of crises and we know, through this effort, that the communities most impacted will get the urgent supplies and support they need.”
To date, Americares has shipped over six tons of protective gear, disinfecting wipes and other critically needed supplies to Lebanon and partner health facilities in hot spots throughout the United States. Shipments have been sent to free and charitable clinics and nonprofits serving low-income residents in California, Connecticut, New York, Texas and Washington. Additional international and domestic shipments are planned for the near future.
In addition, Americares is continuing to care for patients at its primary care clinics in Colombia, El Salvador and the United States, and referring patients with suspected COVID-19 infections for testing. Americares is also training health workers in infection prevention and control, mental health and psychosocial support and disaster preparedness, and sharing educational resources with partner health care facilities in the United States and around the world. If needed, Americares is prepared to mobilize medical personnel to provide surge support for overwhelmed health facilities.
Americares has a long history of responding to infectious disease outbreaks, including cholera, Ebola, dengue and Zika outbreaks. The organization has professional relief workers ready to respond to disasters at a moment’s notice and stocks emergency medicine and supplies in warehouses in the United States, Europe and India that can be delivered quickly in times of crisis.
Americares responds to approximately 30 natural disasters and humanitarian crises worldwide each year, establishes long-term recovery projects and brings disaster preparedness programs to vulnerable communities. Since its founding more than 40 years ago, Americares has provided more than $18 billion in aid to 164 countries, including the United States.
The UBS Optimus Foundation is the only foundation linked to a global wealth manager staffed with philanthropy experts. With an approach that takes advantage of our unique network, we take a leading role in driving impactful philanthropy that delivers breakthrough solutions to social and environmental issues. We know that solving these issues requires collaborative initiatives that make real impact on a large scale. So, we’re taking smart risks on evidence-based, scalable solutions with diverse partners. Together we’re improving health, education and child protection systems as well as tackling environmental degradation and climate change – as this is an important path to a sustainable future.