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UNHCR receives huge donation to fight coronavirus

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UNHCR receives huge donation to fight coronavirus

Unilever is donating millions of bars of soap, hand sanitizer and other supplies to help displaced people in dozens of countries prevent COVID-19.
17 May 2020
Pakistan. Unilever donates hygiene products during COVID-19 crisis
UNHCR staff unload a Unilever donation of soap and disinfectants for Afghan refugees in the Nowshera district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Pakistan.

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and Unilever announced today the multinational company will donate essential hygiene supplies – including more than 30 million bars of soap – to help refugees and others forcibly displaced from their homes prevent COVID-19. Unilever plans to ship items to more than 40 UNHCR operations worldwide.

“Refugees around the world are at a heightened risk due to the coronavirus pandemic,” said Filippo Grandi, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. “I thank Unilever and CEO Alan Jope for the generous donation to UNHCR, which comes at a critical time in our COVID-19 emergency response."

The donated items – including soap, hand sanitizer and disinfectant – will assist those forced to flee in their handwashing and hygiene efforts. Unilever said it aims to provide more than 30 million bars of soap, which would make the in-kind donation one of the largest UNHCR has ever received from the private sector.

In addition, the agency’s newest national fundraising partner, UK for UNHCR, received a multi-million dollar grant to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, thanks to Unilever and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID). The award marks the first major private-sector partnership for UK for UNHCR. UNHCR will use the grant to help limit exposure of an estimated 12 million refugees and host community members to COVID-19 through increased hygiene promotion in the following high-risk operations: the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, Bangladesh and Cameroon.


To contribute to UNHCR’s COVID-19 response, please donate now.