• The World Economic Forum on Wednesday announced the creation of the COVID Action Platform.
  • The global platform, the first of its kind, aims to convene the business community for collective action, protect people’s livelihoods and facilitate business continuity, and mobilize support for the COVID-19 response.
  • The platform is created with the support of the World Health Organization and is open to all businesses and industry groups, as well as other stakeholders, aiming to integrate and inform joint action.
  • For more information, please visit http://wef.ch/COVIDActionPlatform.

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. Only coordinated action by business, combined with global, multistakeholder cooperation can mitigate the risk and impact of this unprecedented global health emergency.

In response to this emergency, the World Economic Forum, acting as partner to the World Health Organization (WHO), has launched the COVID Action Platform. The 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.

The COVID Action Platform will focus on three priorities:

1. Galvanize the global business community for collective action.

2. Protect people’s livelihoods and facilitate business continuity.

3. Mobilize cooperation and business support for the COVID-19 response.

What is the World Economic Forum doing about the coronavirus outbreak?

A new strain of Coronavirus, COVID 19, is spreading around the world, causing deaths and major disruption to the global economy.

Responding to this crisis requires global cooperation among governments, international organizations and the business community, which is at the centre of the World Economic Forum’s mission as the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation.

The Forum has created the COVID Action Platform, a global platform to convene the business community for collective action, protect people’s livelihoods and facilitate business continuity, and mobilize support for the COVID-19 response. The platform is created with the support of the World Health Organization and is open to all businesses and industry groups, as well as other stakeholders, aiming to integrate and inform joint action.

As an organization, the Forum has a track record of supporting efforts to contain epidemics. In 2017, at our Annual Meeting, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) was launched – bringing together experts from government, business, health, academia and civil society to accelerate the development of vaccines. CEPI is currently supporting the race to develop a vaccine against this strand of the coronavirus.

The COVID Action Platform is open to all global businesses and industry groups, as well as other stakeholders, including governments, that wish to team up with the private sector on their response. The platform will operate a network where CEOs, organizational 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.

“COVID-19 is causing health emergencies and economic disruptions that no single stakeholder can address,” said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum. “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.”

“The private sector has an essential role to play in combating this public health crisis through their expertise, innovation and resources,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO. “We call on companies and organizations around the world to make full use of this platform in support of the global public health response to COVID-19.”

The COVID Action Platform was conceived after a World Economic Forum conference call with over 200 corporate leaders from all over the world. It is supported by WHO and the Wellcome Trust and is the first initiative of its kind, operating globally. The Forum has established a special team to support the platform’s work.

Working with the Pandemic Supply Chain Network, one of the projects which will initially be launched on the Platform aims to strengthen supply chains to ensure that COVID-19 essential health commodities are available, accessible, affordable and of good quality. 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.

Companies can register for the COVID Action Platform on http://wef.ch/COVIDActionPlatform

Follow World Economic Forum coverage of COVID-19 on https://www.weforum.org/focus/coronavirus-covid-19