LEIDEN, Netherlands--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, the IKEA Foundation announced its support for the United Nations' new "Only Together" campaign, which calls for fair and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines around the world.
"Scientists believe vaccination offers the best hope for the world to emerge from this pandemic, but only if everyone, everywhere has vaccine access. Unequitable distribution of vaccines risks further widening the inequality gap and endangering millions of lives," said Per Heggenes, IKEA Foundation CEO.
"Only Together" asks governments, businesses and philanthropies to support a global vaccine rollout that prioritises healthcare workers and ensures the poorest countries don't get left behind.
The pandemic is wreaking havoc on the world's most vulnerable communities. Over 130 million people sank below the poverty line in 2020, many of them from marginalised communities, according to UN data. Inequitable vaccine distribution could reverse decades of progress on poverty, healthcare and education.
"This isn't just an issue of morality -- it's an issue of global health," said Melissa Fleming, UN Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications. "Viruses don't respect borders. Leaving parts of the world unvaccinated could lead to even deadlier variants of COVID-19 emerging, prolonging the pandemic and delaying the global economy from recovering."
"Only Together" is part of the Verified initiative, launched in 2020 to counter disinformation on COVID-19. Verified is a collaboration between the UN and Purpose, a social mobilisation organisation. Supported by an IKEA Foundation grant, the campaign helps volunteer "digital first responders" and collaborators disseminate accurate COVID-19 information.
Through its partnership with Purpose, the IKEA Foundation aims to cement public confidence in COVID-19 vaccines and rally funding for fair global vaccine distribution.
"Over the past year, we've all missed out on things we love. Millions of people have lost their loved ones and livelihoods to this deadly virus. Over the coming months, we have an opportunity to put the world on a path towards ending the pandemic, but only together can we ensure no one is left behind," said Jeremy Heimans, Purpose CEO.
About the IKEA Foundation
The IKEA Foundation is funded by INGKA Foundation, owner of the Ingka Group of companies. The IKEA Foundation is independent from the retail business with a sole focus on creating brighter lives on a liveable planet through philanthropy and grantmaking. www.ikeafoundation.org