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Over 180 city leaders to join first virtual Bloomberg coronavirus meeting

Bloomberg Philanthropies has also pledged $40 million to fight coronavirus in Africa and other lower-income countries.


The first meeting of the Bloomberg Coronavirus Local Response Initiative will take place virtually on Thursday, 19 March at 1pm ET. The new initiative was launched last week to help US city leaders to respond to the rapidly evolving coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.


More than 180 cities will join experts from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative to receive up-to-date information as well as crisis coaching.


Michael Bloomberg, Bloomberg Philanthropies founder and former New York City mayor, will also address the participating cities.


The Bloomberg Philanthropies initiative will be an ongoing series of virtual meetings to provide city leaders with technical assistance and coaching, as well as the chance to share emerging practices with their peers.

Interested city representatives should email [email protected]


$40 million for lower-income countries


Bloomberg Philanthropies has also announced $40 million in funding to support immediate action to prevent or slow the spread of coronavirus in vulnerable low- and middle-income countries.


Bloomberg will partner with global health organisation Vital Strategies and the World Health Organization (WHO) for the programme.


The $40 million Coronavirus Global Response Initiative aims to complement the recently announced funding from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, also aimed at accelerating the response to Covid-19 in low- and middle-income countries.


It will focus on funding rapid-response teams that will be deployed to prevent and detect infection; train frontline healthcare workers; develop lab networks to manage and transport specimens; measure acceptance and impact of containment strategies; and provide communications support.

Bloomberg will partner with global health organisation Vital Strategies and the World Health Organisation (WHO) for the programme.

The Coronavirus Global Response Initiative will have a strong emphasis on African nations but will also support the mayors and city governments around the world that are part of the Partnership for Healthy Cities, founded in 2017 by Bloomberg Philanthropies in partnership with WHO and Vital Strategies. The Healthy Cities network concentrates on implementing interventions to reduce non-communicable diseases (NCDs) or injuries arising from traffic crashes.




“Millions of lives depend on getting the coronavirus response right – and so does the economic and social health of communities around the world. We need to slow transmission of the virus and minimise the impact of the outbreak in all countries,” said Bloomberg. “As we launch the Coronavirus Local Response Initiative this week here in the US, we also are creating a new effort to prevent its spread globally, particularly in Africa. I know from my experience as mayor of New York City that giving public health professionals the tools to protect the public is vital to saving lives – and to help mitigate the kind of economic and social damage that could make this crisis even more debilitating for families and communities.”

"An unprecedented global health crisis demands unprecedented global solidarity."

“An unprecedented global health crisis demands unprecedented global solidarity,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general. “I appreciate this support from Bloomberg Philanthropies to WHO and the global response effort, which will help to prevent infections and save lives.”


Bloomberg Philanthropies invests in more than 570 cities and over 160 countries around the world. It encompasses Michael Bloomberg’s foundation and personal philanthropy as well as Bloomberg Associates, a pro bono city consultancy. In 2019, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $3.3 billion.


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