Int’l celebrities donate lavishly to fight pandemic | Page 2 | Sunday Observer

Int’l celebrities donate lavishly to fight pandemic

19 April, 2020

Most politicians are known for upsetting the apple cart rather than helping ease tensions and ameliorating living standards of people, said a former corporate leader and now a philanthropist citing Scottish novelists and playwright Irvine Welsh “Politicians are so … detested, they don’t actually walk amongst people now.” 

He said unlike in the good old days getting present day state leaders to understand the needs of  the people and support them in times of crisis is something we could  expect when pigs fly. 

“Politicians here and abroad have been tight fisted when many celebrities, business leaders and philanthropists  have lavishly donated funds to rid the world of the menace,” he said, adding that it is disheartening to see world leaders putting a spoke in the good work initiated across countries to eliminate the killer virus.

Some of the  biggest names in the business and celebrity world such as Hugh Grosvenor, the Duke of Westminster, TV host Ryan Seacrest, Len Blavatnik, a British-American businessman, Phil Knight, co-founder of Nike, Jack Ma, the Co-founder of Alibaba Group and Bill Gates, co-chairman and co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation made donations to the efforts of fighting the  pandemic.

Hugh Grosvenor donated $12.5 million to his country’s coronavirus relief efforts on top of the $3.1 million he gave in March.

Ryan Seacrest gave $1 million to help with relief efforts in New York City and Los Angeles.

Len Blavatnik donated $1 million through The Blavatnik Family Foundation to buy protective equipment and ventilators and prepare ICU beds at hospitals.Phil Knight along with his wife and other company executives, together donated $10 million toward Covid-19 response efforts.

“Politicians do not lift a figure to ease the burden of  hapless victims of the unforeseen situation but rather heap burden on the afflicted masses,” he said.

Business personalities who had already set a precedent by contributing to the worthy cause in Sri Lanka said the principle of the Triple Bottom Line (TBL) should not apply only to business organisations but also to all organisations and individuals who should  be concerned about people and the planet while paying attention to making profits.

The stance of the US President Donald Trump to halt funding the World Health Organization to battle the deadly virus drew heavy flak from across the world that is making a concerted effort  to get over the crisis.

The US is the WHO’s biggest single funder, providing $400m (£316m) last year - just under 15% of its total budget.

China’s contribution in 2018-19 was almost $76m in assessed contributions and about $10m in voluntary funding, according to the WHO website.