Rihanna founded her philanthropy, the Clara Lionel Foundation, named after her grandparents, Clara and Lionel Braithwaite, in 2012. The organization, which helps fund education and emergency preparedness, is stepping in now during the coronavirus global pandemic. Clara Lionel is donating $5 million to coronavirus relief efforts, per the foundation's website.
According to the site, the money will go toward Direct Relief, Feeding America, Partners in Health, The World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, the International Rescue Committee, and more. The funds will also support local food banks serving at-risk communities and the elderly population in the U.S.
The $5 million will also help support acceleration in testing and healthcare in vulnerable countries including Haiti and Malawi. The statement on the site also adds that the funds will go toward "mobilization of resources and additional capacity and support for Native communities."
It's no secret that hospitals are in short supply of necessary materials for fighting coronavirus. This money will support protective equipment protective equipment for workers on the frontline, as well as healthcare worker training. The money will also support transportation of respiratory devices, which are already running low.
"Protecting our frontline health workers and marginalized communities around the world requires getting ahead of it FAST," the site reads. "The time to act is now. "
Rihanna has been outspoken in the past about her commitment to supporting social good and people in need. In February, she was honored with the President's Award at the NAACP Image Awards in Pasadena. There, she spoke about the importance of the world joining together to create change.
"Tonight is not really about me, because the purpose is bigger than me, right?" she said upon accepting her award. "It’s not bigger than us together, but it’s bigger than me, because my part is a very small part of the work that is being done in this world and the work that is yet to be done."
She went on: "If there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s that we can fix this world together. We can’t do it divided. I can’t emphasize that enough. We can’t let the de-sensitivity seep in—the 'If it’s your problem, it's not mine.' 'It’s a woman’s problem.' 'It’s a black people problem.' 'It’s a poor people problem.' How many of us in this room have colleagues and partners and friends from other races, sexes, religions? Show of hands? Well then, they want to break bread with you, right? They like you? Well then, this is their problem, too. So when we’re marching and protesting and posting about the Michael Brown, Jr.s and the Atatiana Jeffersons of the world, tell your friends to pull up."
Hilary Weaver Hilary Weaver is a freelance writer based in New York who writes about politics, queer issues, Meryl Streep, Glenn Close, and every woman the Queen has ever made a dame.