With the coronavirus epidemic hurting economic activities globally, the World Economic Forum on 11 March 2020 launched a new platform with the support of the World Health Organisation (WHO) to convene the global business community for a collective action on the COVID-19 response. This is the first initiative of its kind that aims to convene the business community for collective action, protect people's livelihoods and facilitate business continuity, and mobilise support for the COVID-19 response, the Geneva-based international organisation for public-private cooperation said in a statement.
  1. The ''COVID Action Platform'' has been created with the support of the WHO and is open to all businesses and industry groups, as well as other stakeholders including governments, aiming to integrate their efforts for a joint action.
  2. The dramatic spread of COVID-19 has disrupted lives, livelihoods, communities and businesses worldwide, but the sum of many individual actions by stakeholders around the world will not add up to a sufficient response, the WEF said.
  3. Only coordinated action by business, combined with global, multi-stakeholder cooperation can mitigate the risk and impact of this unprecedented global health emergency.
  4. The new platform is intended to catalyse private-sector support for the global public health response to COVID-19, and to do so at the scale and speed required to protect lives and livelihoods, aiming to find ways to help end the global emergency as soon as possible.
  5. The three priorities for this platform would be to galvanise the global business community for collective action; protect people''s livelihoods and facilitate business continuity; and mobilise cooperation and business support for the COVID-19 response.
  6. The platform will operate a network where CEOs, organisational leaders and designated COVID-19 corporate responders can offer their help and team up on specific projects, launch actions and keep each other informed of best practices.
  7. COVID-19 is causing health emergencies and economic disruptions that no single stakeholder can address, WEF''s Founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab said.
  8. Our best and only response to it should be to take concerted action. The COVID Action Platform is at the centre of our mission and we draw upon all our members and partners, communities and capabilities to make it a success.
  9. WHO''s Director-General Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the private sector has an essential role to play in combating this public health crisis through their expertise, innovation and resources.
  10. It is supported by the WHO and the Wellcome Trust and is the first initiative of its kind, operating globally. The WEF has established a special team to support the platform''s work.
  11. Other actions will include supporting mechanisms for business donations to the public health response and the development of available and accessible vaccines, diagnostics, treatments and protective equipment, as well as tracking the economic impact of the virus, while pursuing collaboration to address disruptions.
  12. The WEF said companies can register online for this new platform.