The global outbreak of COVID-19 brings unprecedented challenges that affect people, businesses and communities across the world. It is clear that the impact from this pandemic will fall especially hard on the most vulnerable people worldwide, on people living in precarious situations and/or with limited access to healthcare.
Waterland has decided to make a multi-year contribution to the global fight against COVID-19 through a donation of € 1 million to Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières – MSF), including a substantial donation this year to the COVID-19 Crisis Fund, that has been launched by Doctors Without Borders to help combat the coronavirus pandemic.
Meinie Nicolai, Médecins Sans Frontières General Director of the Operational Centre in Brussels: “Thanks to the support of donors like Waterland we will be able to keep our regular medical programs running for the hundreds of thousands of patients we care for, and for the extremely vulnerable communities we help around the globe. The ‘COVID-19 fund’ will enable our teams to respond to this crisis and its consequences in the most appropriate manner. We are therefore very grateful to Waterland, not only for strengthening our COVID-19 interventions this year, but also for their very valuable long-term commitment to our humanitarian work in general.”
Frank Vlayen, Group Managing Partner of Waterland: “By contributing to the COVID-19 Crisis Fund of Doctors Without Borders, we want to support an organization with global reach and an outstanding track record in providing medical relief efforts to those people most in need of help. This contribution supplements the positive initiatives that many of our people and portfolio companies are taking to support relief efforts for COVID-19. For Waterland, making a positive contribution in these challenging times fits with our broader commitment to being a socially responsible investor and integrating environmental, social and governance (ESG) objectives into our organization and decision making.”
About Doctors Without Borders
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) translates to Doctors without Borders. MSF was founded in 1971 in Paris by a group of journalists and doctors. Today, they are a worldwide movement that provides medical humanitarian assistance to people affected by conflict, epidemics, disasters, or exclusion from healthcare in more than 70 countries. Their actions are guided by medical ethics and the principles of impartiality, independence and neutrality.
Faced with the spread and impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has and will have on the most vulnerable populations, MSF expanded its activities in Europe and its existing projects. MSF has extensive expertise in fighting epidemics, such as the Ebola outbreak, and is also deploying it to combat the worldwide outbreak of COVID-19. This year, projects have already been started in more than 40 countries to care for patients infected with the COVID-19 virus.
The COVID-19 response of MSF focuses on three main priorities:
• supporting authorities to provide care for COVID-19 patients;
• protecting people who are vulnerable and at risk;
• and keeping essential medical services running.
Across their projects, they have been improving infection prevention and control measures to protect patients and staff and prevent further spread of the new coronavirus. It is absolutely crucial to prevent health facilities from amplifying the pandemic or being forced to close their doors. Having access to protective equipment, to COVID-19 tests, to oxygen and to drugs for supportive care, becomes more and more urgent as COVID-19 spreads in countries with little access to these tools.
More updates on their worldwide response to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic can be found here.