Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg will donate $155,000 (100,000 euros) to the World Health Organisation while urging the international community to do more for vaccine equity and boost vaccination rates.
Miss Thunberg will give the donation through her own Greta Thunberg Foundation, which is funded through awards from her climate change advocacy.
She has also urged the international community to work harder to help needy countries boost vaccination rates.
“The international community must do more to address the tragedy that is vaccine inequity,” she said in a press conference with the WHO.
“We have the means at our disposal to correct the great imbalance that exists around the world today in the fight against COVID-19. Just as with the climate crisis, we must help those who are the most vulnerable first.
“That is why I am supporting WHO, Gavi and all involved in the COVAX initiative, which I believe offers the best path forward to ensure true vaccine equity and a way out of the pandemic.”
The funds will go to supply COVID-19 vaccines to the “most at-risk in all countries, including health workers, older people and those with underlying conditions”.
One in four people in high-income counties have been vaccinated — compared with around one in more than 500 in low-income countries, according to WHO data.
“Greta Thunberg has inspired millions of people worldwide to take action to address the climate crisis, and her strong support of vaccine equity to fight the COVID-19 pandemic yet again demonstrates her commitment to making our world a healthier, safer and fairer place for all people,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.
“I urge the global community to follow Greta’s example and do what they can, in support of COVAX, to protect the world’s most vulnerable people from this pandemic.”
In January, Miss Thunberg gave an interview to the Sunday Time Magazine, saying being outspoken came with its downsides.
“There is a risk when you are vocal about these things and don’t practise as you preach, then you will be criticised and what you are saying won’t be taken seriously,” she said.