VIDEO: Paul Polman Calls for Ambitious Collaboration to Tackle COVID-19

"I invite you to join forces" Paul Polman.
Learn more about how to get involved.

UK Department for International Development | Corporate Responsibility Initiative, Harvard Kennedy School | Business Partners for Sustainable Development | UNDP Business Call to Action World Health Organisation | The United Nations | The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | AMREF | World Economic Forum | International Chamber of Commerce | UN Global Compact |



On 11th March 2020, the Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared novel coronavirus (COVID-19) a pandemic. At time of writing, there are more than 332,930 cases and 14,510 people have lost their lives. It is likely that many more countries will be affected, with particularly devastating impacts for countries with weak health systems, and for low-income populations across all countries.  There is a mixed picture in terms of country and company readiness and multiple sources of information, some of which are not credible and adding to public confusion.


We are launching an urgent process across businesses to accelerate local action and support real-time best-practice learning across markets. The work will be led by Myriam Sidibe, renowned handwashing expert. The work will be anchored around the National Business Compact on COVID-19, a national business coalition campaign in Kenya, where the first case was confirmed on 13 March.

The global knowledge-sharing process is being coordinated by Business Fights Poverty, in partnership with a growing coalition of business networks, including Business Partners for Sustainable Development (BPSD), an initiative of the United States Council for International Business, led by internationally-renowned public health expert, Scott Ratzan MD.

Anticipated Impacts

(a) accelerate a WHO-validated, national handwashing campaign and other preventative solutions, starting in Kenya with immediate roll out over other countries, through the work of the National Business Compact and local partners, with in-kind/financial support from a range of multiple companies and funders;

(b) Globally, through the work of Business Fights Poverty, BPSD and other partners, rapidly co-create and share insights, best-practice and replicable solutions across markets; and

(c) In Kenya and across markets, build and deepen a wider network of critical relationships as a foundation for future collaborative action and shared humanity.

Get Involved

Register your interest in getting involved, as a company, expert organisation or individual. We will start immediately with action on the ground in Kenya and will very soon roll-out action to other countries. The real-time knowledge sharing process will begin the week of 16 March.

Once registered, we will send you resources and keep you up to date on a range of opportunities to connect and share online.


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