A wide range of stakeholders, including global business leaders, are working together through the World Economic Forum’s COVID Action Platform to minimize the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Since its launch on 11 March, the Forum’s COVID Action Platform has brought together 1,667 stakeholders from 1,106 businesses and organizations to mitigate the risk and impact of the unprecedented global health emergency that is COVID-19. These stakeholders are regularly convening through virtual meetings to deliver projects and share their insight and expertise on how the world can move forward through this crisis.
What’s the challenge?
The dramatic spread of COVID-19 has disrupted lives, livelihoods, communities and businesses worldwide.
The International Monetary Fund has estimated that the Great Lockdown recession will drag global GDP lower by 3% in 2020. The economic fallout will hit developing countries and vulnerable communities hardest. By the end of this year, 265 million people could be facing starvation, according to research by the United Nations World Food Programme.
The sum of many individual actions will not add up to a sufficient response. Only coordinated action by business, combined with global, multistakeholder cooperation – at exceptional scale and speed – can potentially mitigate the risk and impact of this unprecedented crisis.
The spread of COVID-19 demands global cooperation among governments, international organizations and the business community.
As the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation, the World Economic Forum is well positioned to play a leading role in the global response and has launched the COVID Action Platform, which is focused on achieving impact through 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 Forum has also articulated Stakeholder Principles in the COVID Era and is supporting the global business community in living up to those principles.
Nearly two months after the launch of the platform, 34 projects are already underway – ranging from developing workforce principles for chief human resource officers to amplifying support for Social Entrepreneurs, and from connecting essential workers to mobility operators to launching #JuntosenCasa, an educational and prevention programme for Hispanic youth in the US and Latin America.
One such project rapidly brought together Africa CDC, the World Health Organization, Resolve to Save Lives and IPSOS to provide first-of-its-kind and real-time data about health and public sentiment to decision-makers, so that they can adapt COVID-19 response measures to local needs and capacities in Africa.
In another example, the 3D Printing COVID-19 Rapid Response Initiative was established to address shortages and rising demand for medical supplies triggered by COVID-19, including to provide support for medical device/equipment manufacturers and help hospitals and health systems get the equipment they need.
During the momentous Coronavirus Global Response pledging event, which aimed to kick-start the global cooperation to rapidly bring forward available and accessible vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics against COVID-19, the Forum and its COVID Action Platform were recognized as a primary mechanism for public-private cooperation. Leaders also noted the Forum’s history of contributions to partnerships such as CEPI, Gavi – The Vaccine Alliance, and the Global Fund – all of which originated through collaborations forged during the Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos.
How can you get involved?
The platform was created with the support of the World Health Organization and other key global health partners. It is open to all businesses and industry groups, as well as other stakeholders, aiming to integrate and inform joint action.
Mission-driven organizations from around the world are invited to partner with the World Economic Forum’s COVID Action Platform, which ensures global cooperation among governments, international organizations and the business community in response to the spread of COVID-19.