The Global Solidarity Fund (GSF) last month spotlighted issues to be addressed as well as promising innovations in distributing the COVID-19 vaccine to those who are most vulnerable and marginalized in our world. The roundtable discussion, Vaccines for All: Unique Partnerships for an Equitable End to the Pandemic, convened a high-level and diverse group of leaders from private corporations, global development organizations, and the Catholic Church. Highlights of the discussion are available here.
The Vaccines for All event’s first panel focused on the importance of building trust in the safety and efficacy of the vaccine.
The panel featured Cardinal Peter K.A. Turkson, Prefect of Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development for the Vatican; Rebecca Marmot, Chief Sustainability Officer of Unilever and GSF Board Member; and Joe Cerrell, Managing Director of Global Policy and Advocacy for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and GSF Board Member. The panel was moderated by Sonya Jackson, Senior Advisor at Handshake.
Practices shared for building trust ranged from corporate educational programming for employees of companies with global reach, to faith leaders providing education and access to the vaccine for parishioners. Rebecca Marmot of Unilever noted that “collaboration between the public sector, government, and the private sector and the role that we can play together, is absolutely essential. But of course, all of this needs to be backed up by equitable access to the vaccines in the first place.”
The second panel focused on identifying and implementing distribution solutions for people who are marginalized.
This panel featured Sister Patricia Murray, IBVM, Executive Secretary of the International Union of Superiors General (UISG); Guillaume Grosso, Director of Sovereign & Private Sector Engagement, Donor Relations & Campaigns at Gavi: The Vaccine Alliance; Charlotte Kirby, Vice President of Global Strategic Relations at Salesforce; and Thomas Ellmann, Vice President of CSI Life Sciences & Healthcare and Head of Clinical Trials Logistics at DHL. This panel was moderated by Susan Myers, Strategic Adviser for Goal 17 Partners.
Each speaker addressed the importance of community, and how we must all be united in breaking-down siloes and bringing together our best resources and strategies to put an end to this pandemic. As the head of the global network of Catholic Sisters, Sister Patricia Murray remarked that this is “a very special moment in the life of the world, where something that threatens us at so many different levels is calling us to a new way of being community. This is calling us and saying to us, again and again…we all need to be together to be saved.”
Whether discussing trust in the vaccine or vaccine distribution, the message was clear: the world needs thoughtful collaboration from the private sector, global development organizations, and faith communities to take on the world’s most complicated problems.
GSF exists to drive high-level collaboration for catalyzing change on a global scale. Joe Cerrell of the Gates Foundation said if GSF “hadn’t been created, we would probably need to be creating it right now…It’s going to play a fundamental role in making sure we live up to that aspiration of building back better.”
Watch the recap of the event here
If you are interested in working with GSF, please contact Marta Guglielmetti, Executive Director, GSF (M.Guglielmetti@globalsolidarityfund.org) or Emily Ross, Senior Adviser, Handshake (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.