The news coverage may be more focused on the pandemic than the climate crisis these days, but that doesn’t mean that young climate activist Great Thunberg has given up the fight. Thunberg is now lending her support to children affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. She’s donating $100,000 to UNICEF, in an effort to protect young people from the dire consequences of the pandemic like loss of education, lack of healthcare, food shortage, and violence.
“Like the climate crisis,” Thunberg said in a statement, “the coronavirus pandemic is a child-rights crisis. It will affect all children, now and in the long-term, but vulnerable groups will be impacted the most. I’m asking everyone to step up and join me in support of UNICEF’s vital work to save children’s lives, to protect health and continue education.”
Although children and young adults aren’t affected as severely by the virus as the older population, children are among the pandemic’s biggest victims when it comes to socio-economic impact. Refugee children living in camps will be impacted the most.
Thunberg’s donation comes from the $100,000 prize money she was awarded by Human Act for her activism. Human Act is matching Thunberg’s donation to UNICEF, helping launch the campaign with a $200,000 contribution.
According to UNICEF, the donation will go directly toward the provision of soap, masks, gloves, hygiene kits, protective equipment, life-saving information, and other support to healthcare systems.
According to Henrietta Fore, executive director of UNICEF, “The coronavirus pandemic is the greatest struggle the world has seen in generations. Children and young people are among the most severely impacted by the knock-on effects of COVID-19, so it is only natural that they would want to do something about it. Through her activism, Greta Thunberg has proven that young people are ready to take a stand and lead change in the world. UNICEF is very pleased that Greta and her supporters have not only chosen to take a stand against this pandemic, but to do so in partnership with UNICEF.”