Interactive: Who's funding the COVID-19 response and what are the priorities?

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The announcement last week of a €750 billion ($838 billion) recovery fund for the European Union has pushed announcements supporting the COVID-19 response across the $17 trillion mark, according to an analysis of funding data available through Devex.

How these funding pledges transition into action is still a work in progress for many funders — and awarded contracts, grants, program announcements, tenders opportunities, and open funding opportunities allow for deeper insights into how these pledges are being put into action beyond the announcements.

Interact with global COVID-19 funding data

This funding data is available through a new tableau interactive dashboard. Explore where the funding is going, who’s supplying the money, and what funding is focusing on.

Governments, bilateral and multilateral donors, development banks, philanthropic organizations, and the private sector are all contributing support. Funding activities, information about funding opportunities, and news compiled from Devex funding data allow for intent and fulfillment of these commitments to be better understood.

Between Jan. 1 and May 31, there were 1,823 funding activities announced, contributing $17.1 trillion for the fight against COVID-19. Investments of $60.2 billion have been made via 175 program announcements, and 328 grants have supported $823.6 million worth of investment. In business opportunities, 366 tenders have seen $2.3 billion invested through program delivery and service partners, while 422 contracts have delivered $453.5 million on the ground.

Donors are responding to the efforts to contain the coronavirus’s spread in a variety of ways, according to funding data compiled by Devex. Since May 24, $1.2 trillion in funding announcements for COVID-19 has been added to Devex’s funding database, and $5.5 billion in programs, grants, tenders, and open opportunities has been announced.

This funding data is available through a new Tableau interactive dashboard. Explore where the funding is going, who is supplying the money, and what funding is focusing on.

We’ve removed our paywall for this article — previously for Pro subscribers only — to provide access to accurate information and resources during the COVID-19 outbreak. This article will be updated regularly with COVID-19 funding announcements. If you are interested in more in-depth global development coverage, visit our Pro subscriber page.

             

Interact with global COVID-19 funding in this tableau interactive dashboard from Devex.

June 2

The announcement from the European Union of €750 billion ($838 billion) in support of the economic recovery from COVID-19 for member countries is a new boost to funding after seeing announcements becoming smaller and is by far the largest new announcement since May 24.

The second largest was $10 billion in funding from the African Development Bank to support the promotion of structural transformation and green growth through 2024 — with the program “underpinned by a brief outlining the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Nigeria,” according to the announcement. This was followed by $4 billion from the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation to ensure the continuity of existing projects that have been impacted by COVID-19.

By region, new funding has been centered on East Asia and the Pacific with 22 announcements, followed by 16 announcements for West Africa and another 16 for Latin America and the Caribbean. But the EU announcement sees the Eastern and Western European regions — and economic support — as the financial focus of new announcements since May 24.

Economic and business support is also the priority for new grants announced since May 24, with the Department for International Development offering up to £4 million ($5 million) for medium-sized not-for-profits and up to £250,000 for small nonprofits to support their economic viability, along with the continued delivery of development programs. Digital remittance solutions are the focus of a grant from the United Nations to also help with economic growth and financial stability.

Among contracts awarded since May 24, supporting the response has been the intent of 65 awards, worth $54 million. Support for health systems has seen $20 million in investment. And the purchasing of equipment and supplies continues to be a focus for contracts, supporting $14 million investment — including $12.5 million awarded to PATH by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support improved access to respiratory care equipment in low- and middle-income countries.

For contracts, philanthropic donors were the leading source of opportunities, while multilateral donors dominated funding activities, programs, and tenders. For grants, bilateral donors were the leading source of new announcements over the past week.

May 26

The largest new funding announcement of the past week has been the $10 billion to address and mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 in developing countries. No details are yet available of any specific target nations, but the initiative will be funded by the Arab Coordination Group, which consists of 10 development financial institutions including the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, the Arab Monetary Fund, the Islamic Development Bank Group, and the OPEC Fund for International Development.

Low- and middle-income countries are also the focus of another announcement in this period — €3 billion ($3.3 billion) from the Council of Europe to provide financial assistance to Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Georgia, Jordan, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Tunisia, and Ukraine in response to COVID-19.

Humanitarian needs are a key target of a $2 billion initiative from the government of China that was announced at the World Health Assembly. According to the announcement, the funds will be available for a global humanitarian response capital and hub based in China. Hospital partnerships and debt suspension for Africa will also be a focus.

Among funding activities, these projects reflect an increased financial contribution supporting vulnerable communities since May 17.

Economic recovery still remains an important focus of funding activities, with $11 billion in announcements. Health systems are also supported by $5.4 billion in new funding announcements.

For businesses, new tender opportunities continue to grow for transitioning operations in the COVID-19 environment or delivering programs. Online engagement, policy brief development, medical equipment procurement, social protection awareness, laboratory installation, and even conference support are among the latest opportunities.

But funding announcements are showing other ways that government, development, and global operations are changing. Increasingly, COVID-19 is forcing programs to consider how to support economic recovery and resilience as part of their work — including climate change programs, natural disaster recovery, and democracy and human rights.

May 18

Government-funded economic stimulus drove the largest new funding activities since May 10. In Vietnam, a $25 billion “cushion” was announced for the national economy with the aim of providing a jump-start in the post-coronavirus period. In India, $4 billion will be directed toward agricultural support and concessional credit for farmers as part of broader relief packages.

But investment from bilateral donors — aimed at health systems, the economy, and other development challenges — is also supporting new coronavirus responses in low- and middle-income countries. Angola, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan, Myanmar, and South Africa are among the countries targeted by new funding activities, programs, grants, and tenders.

An announcement of $1 billion from the Japan International Cooperation Agency for the pandemic response in Bangladesh is the largest new announcement from a bilateral donor. The U.S. Agency for International Development is also increasing investment through a number of new activities, including $20 million to purchase ventilators for South Africa and a funding round for up to $300 million that will support interventions for adapting health systems to changing needs for COVID-19.

Agence Française de Développement has also announced new funding activities. It announced €220 million ($240 million) in partnership with the European Union to increase Vietnam’s resilience around climate change and COVID-19. And in Ethiopia, AFD is directing €40 million for the coronavirus response.

The U.K.’s Department for International Development is boosting economic development through a new £30 million ($37 million) initiative to scale up its infrastructure and cities programming. As part of its pivot to COVID-19, this funding aims to support the building of resilient cities and infrastructure for medium- and long-term economic recovery in LMICs.

Elsewhere, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency has announced $6.5 million for seniors affected by COVID-19, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development is supporting a €7 million investment to secure water supply and hygiene articles in Jordan, and the Finland’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs is providing €1 million for Red Cross operations in lower-income countries.

Country responses remain the focal point of bilateral support, with 127 announcements since Jan. 1. Health systems follow with 82 announcements, then economies with 29 announcements and vulnerable groups with 27 announcements.

Geographically, bilateral donors have focused this year’s investment announcements on global programming, which has seen 31 such announcements. This is followed by Bangladesh with 13. With 10 announcements, East Africa has also been a recipient of regionally diverse initiatives, while western and southern Africa saw 9 announcements.

In comparison, the geographic focus of private sector partners this year has been on global initiatives with 71 announcements. This is followed by the U.S. with 30 announcements, China with 25 announcements, and India with 19 announcements.

May 11:

Food security is emerging as an increasing concern among governments and donors supporting the global response, with $2.25 billion worth of funding announced since May 2. New funding of $1.7 billion toward the distribution of food items in Ghana is the single largest announcement focused on food security in the analysis of COVID-19 funding data since January. This demonstrates the increasing stress that COVID-19 is placing on supply chains as donors try to stay ahead of emerging challenges.

That food security package is also one of the largest announcements in funding activities overall. But the bulk of funds in this space have focused on governments’ commitment to the development of vaccines and treatments.

A total of 11 new announcements have committed $11.1 billion to these efforts, with an $8 billion commitment by various governments accounting for a large portion.

Other big funding announcements include $1 billion for economic relief and safety nets in Indonesia and $506 million to support the response and economy in Ecuador.

Among the new programs, 13 with a strong focus on Asia have been announced since May 2. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and Asian Development Bank have partnered on two program announcements, supporting $4.77 billion worth of investment in Indonesia and the Philippines.

Bangladesh is the focus of a $200 million program from AIIB and the World Bank, as well as a $100 million investment by ADB. ADB is also supporting programs targeting health in Laos and Mongolia.

Open opportunities continue the focus on health. Since May 2, five new open opportunities have become available for financial support through funders including the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, Wellcome Trust, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation —- supporting the strengthening of health care systems, physical and mental health of front-line workers, innovative solutions to the crisis, and more.

A total of 40 new tender opportunities are also available supporting the programs of NGO, multilateral, and government donors — with the largest being a forecast for the procurement of goods, works, and services to assist the World Bank in its ongoing COVID-19 response. The opportunity will provide the bank flexibility with changing needs, as the coronavirus continues to impact the globe.

May 6:

Program announcements have totaled 97 in this period, with a known value of $25 billion. Bilateral, multilateral and government donors are the drivers of these opportunities, with the European Investment Bank supporting $8.7 billion in programs, while the Asian Development Bank supports $3.2 billion and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank supports $2.5 billion.

A total of 201 grants — nonprofit funding opportunities providing financial assistance to project objectives related to the coronavirus — were announced between Jan. 1 and May 2, with financial assistance of $590 million. Strengthening health laboratories, virus research, and civil society protection are among the diverse focuses of grants announced.

A total of 179 contracts have been awarded, providing $192 million in commitments delivered through partnerships. Helmsley Charitable Trust has so far awarded $78.4 million in contracts for work in Israel and the U.S. and in support of worldwide programs targeting health systems.

Tenders continue to grow, and organizations seek services and equipment to deliver on their financial commitments. A total of 165 tenders — with more than half for the purchase of equipment and medical supplies — are supporting $1.9 billion in expenditure.

Two new large tenders funded by the World Bank are $129 million for goods, services, and works supporting the COVID-19 response in Sri Lanka and €91.4 million ($100 million) in Turkey.

Open opportunities — grants with open-ended or cyclical deadlines — are supporting $145 million in investment through 44 initiatives. Among the new opportunities are grants of up to 50,000 rand ($2,700) mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on women’s rights in South Africa, supported by Global Affairs Canada and the U.K. Department for International Development.

The base of philanthropic donors continues to grow. Among the new donors is the Lebanon-based Alwaleed Philanthropies, which has announced $30 million to respond to a range of health and economic impacts of COVID-19 globally. And the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative has announced a commitment of $13.6 million to understand the prevalence of COVID-19 in the U.S.

Among the 279 new entries added to Devex’s funding database since April 27 are a $15 billion economic relief package for Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa and $3.4 billion in support for emergency COVID-19 efforts in Nigeria.

April 29:

While investment has slowed, economic initiatives continue to drive finances. Through 66 initiatives announced since April 19, $204 billion in investment is expected to be made.

€110 billion ($120 billion) for economic support and emergency aid in France is the largest new economic investment, with €25 billion also directed by the European Investment Bank at Europe to mitigate the economic impact of COVID-19. Outside Europe, funders including the World Bank and African Development Bank contributed $26 billion to support the social and economic response in South Africa.

But the single largest new investment is in supporting the health sector: a $160 billion initiative announced by the World Bank for stronger global health security. This accounts for the bulk of the $165 billion announced for the health sector since April 19, with the Asian Development Bank announcing a combined $3 billion in loans for health-system strengthening in the Philippines and Indonesia.

In other priority funding sectors, women and girls are continuing to increase in focus. An additional 69 programs valued at $5.3 billion tackle gender-related issues — either directly, as with a $35 million gender investment by the U.S. Agency for International Development in Colombia, or indirectly via gender requirements on funding, as with a $1.5 billion investment in the Philippines that aims to strengthen coronavirus response and support.

Investment in education continues to grow, with a further 37 initiatives announced that are valued at $73 million — including 25 grants valued between $75,000 and $750,000 from Education Cannot Wait.

Globally, governments continue to be the biggest funders of initiatives, both in number and value. They have supported an additional 132 initiatives since April 19, valued at $357 billion. Multilateral institutions are key financial contributors to 132 initiatives as well, with their projects valued at $241 billion. The private sector is contributing to 47 initiatives valued at $2.9 billion. NGOs and civil society are supporting 52 new initiatives valued at $124 million, with education programs accounting for $37 million of this total.

Tender requests continue to show the diverse needs of organizations in responding to COVID-19. New procurements include megaphones for the United Nations Children's Fund in Myanmar, plastic buckets for the United Nations Development Programme in Zimbabwe to store food and water, the construction of isolation units, support for awareness campaigns, and printing services for informational flyers.

April 22:

Economic initiatives continue to drive the big increases in funding. Since April 12, the largest new funding announcement came from the United States Federal Reserve — a $2.3 trillion loans program to combat the economic impacts of COVID-19 within the country. A €500 billion ($540 billion) support package for Europe from the European Union and European Investment Bank, which includes funding for potential bailouts, was the second-largest new funding announcement. And a $100 billion initiative from the International Monetary Fund aims to support low-income countries through a global recession.

Since April 12, bilateral donors have announced $2 billion worth of initiatives. Agence Française de Développement announced its third — and largest — initiative in support of Africa to reinforce health systems on the continent. €150 million will be made available in the form of donations and €1 billion in the form of loans.

The U.K. Department for International Development has also increased its investment, announcing a package of £200 million to reduce mass infections in lower-income countries. The package includes funding for U.N. agencies, the Red Cross, and other NGOs to deliver services.

And the U.S. Agency for International Development has announced a $225 million increase in its support to lower-income countries for health and economic initiatives, along with funding increases announced for South Africa and the Philippines.

Over this same period, $410 million worth of projects has been announced by philanthropic donors, $399 million worth by the private sector, and $29 million worth by NGOs and civil society.

Among the trends identified in the past week has been an increasing focus on initiatives related to data on the one hand and gender on the other.

The National Science Foundation in the U.S. has announced grants to support research utilizing data or software to address COVID-19, while the Mastercard Foundation and The Rockefeller Foundation have announced a $10 million challenge in response to COVID-19 as part of its commitment to “building the field of data science for social impact.”

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation also unveiled a $100,000 award for the University of Washington Foundation for COVID-19 modeling, and the Tableau Foundation has announced grants to support local organizations’ COVID-19 response.

A total of 49 initiatives now have a gender focus or requirement, with multilateral donors leading this push. Among the new programs announced were $1 million targeting gender-based violence in East Timor, a grant program providing up to $200,000 through the Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund for a gender focus on the COVID-19 response, $100,000 supporting pregnant women in Malawi, and grants for feminist organizations to support Ukraine’s response.

April 15:

Continuing the trend identified on April 8, the majority of new initiatives announced support the COVID-19 response within countries (152 initiatives) followed by health system support (70 initiatives). But the bulk of funds continues to address the economic impacts of COVID-19, with $1.3 trillion in additional support announced — including $1 trillion in assistance to Japanese families and small business owners and $57.9 billion in economic support for Thailand.

But the financial boost seen between March 24 and April 5 has declined in favor of projects targeting vulnerable groups and other needs emerging during this crisis.

Communication and education have five new projects, including initiatives to stop the spread of misinformation and educate communities about the virus and how to prevent its spread. Education is an emerging priority sector for support including $250 million from the Global Partnership for Education to ensure children are not left behind.

Food relief and food security are also priorities in supporting vulnerable communities with $2.9 million helping to fund this space in South Africa. Vulnerable communities are further being supported in a range of new programs including by social protection strengthening in Madagascar by the International Monetary Fund, as well as in funding requests to target specific groups — recently seen in the announcement of a $2.2 billion project from the Asian Development Bank targeting economic impacts in India, which aims to target groups including women.

Among the emerging priorities this week are procurements to purchase equipment and resources that will help organizations continue providing essential services.

There has also been an increase in calls for equipment, as well as procurements to support organizations with their response and ability to continue operating.

The United Nations Development Programme has issued a range of tenders supporting staff and projects globally. In Mauritania, UNDP is procuring IT and videoconferencing equipment to support the continuation of its work. In Lebanon and Zimbabwe, it is procuring personal protective equipment and cleaning products. And in India, it has issued a tender to procure a ventilator.

In the Philippines, UNICEF issued a tender to procure 500 heavy-duty cleaning kits, and it has additionally issued a tender for services to support the online delivery of COVID-19 mental health and psychosocial services to frontline workers and caregivers in the Eastern Caribbean area. And to support the work of the US Embassy in Pakistan a new tender to procure cleaning services was issued with specific COVID-19 requirements.

April 8:

The majority of these new initiatives support response to COVID-19 within countries (211 initiatives) followed by health system support (63 initiatives), the money is largely directed to initiatives supporting economic stability. Since March 24, announcements worth $6.1 trillion were announced supporting the economy, including $5 trillion committed by G-20 leaders to boosting economies and $1 trillion from the International Monetary Fund to address the economic and humanitarian impact.

Health systems received $5.1 billion in additional support, including $1 billion in India, and $1.6 billion for vaccine and treatment funding. One billion dollars of this has been announced by the U.S. government to support the production of possible coronavirus vaccines with the assistance of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority.

Investments from governments have rapidly grown, increasing from a known value of $1.9 billion on March 24 to $8 trillion by April 5; 135 initiatives support these announcements.

Among new initiatives announced by bilateral donors are €1.5 million ($1.6 billion) initiative to improve health monitoring and management of COVID-19 cases by Agence Française de Développement in Africa, and $260 million pledged to Bangladesh, with the U.K. Department for International Development and Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency among the donors.

Among the 41 new projects announced by the U.S. Agency for International Development are initiatives supporting health, water, and sanitation in Africa; humanitarian and health impacts in Afghanistan; and virus surveillance and prevention in Venezuela.

NGOs and CSOs have announced support for an additional 29 initiatives since March 24, worth $260 million. Response and support for victims of COVID-19 are the focus of this sector. New announcements include $30 million worth of support announced by UNITAID and $13 million focused on educating children.

March 30:

Insight into the funders

Governments are supporting initiatives worth at least $2.9 trillion, including a $1 trillion package focusing on economic impacts in the United States. Government funding is largely concentrated on responding to COVID-19 or its economic impacts. Country-specific initiatives account for 83% of this, while programs with a regional or global focus make up the rest.

Multilateral institutions are supporting 65 initiatives with a known value of $1.1 trillion. The European Union is supporting $1 trillion worth of investment across 11 initiatives, including $41 billion for coronavirus-related health care expenditures across Eastern and Western Europe.

Multilateral funding has so far been evenly split between country-specific and multiregion initiatives.

Bilateral funders have so far announced investments or partnerships in initiatives worth $594 billion, with the bulk from KfW to protect the German economy from the effects of the new coronavirus. In terms of geographic footprint, Asia and Africa are a key focus.

The U.S. Agency for International Development is supporting 13 initiatives with a known value of $126 million. Of these,11 are country-specific — including $2 million worth of support for Cambodia and $1.8 million worth of support for Nepal and Ethiopia.

The U.K. Department for International Development has so far announced three global support initiatives, with a known value of $30 million.

Interact with the data

Explore the funding response via geographical region, funding, focus areas, and more.

NGOs and civil society organizations are supporting at least $165 million worth of initiatives with a focus on Africa — including research-strengthening initiatives. But responding to COVID-19 is the main focus of this sector.

Philanthropic donors have announced 36 initiatives with a known value of $1.3 billion. Global response programs are the focus, followed by support to Africa. For vaccines and treatments, this sector is supporting $343 million worth of programs, including $125 million to support the development of treatments funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome Trust, and Mastercard Impact Fund.

A total of 47 initiatives are supported by the private sector with a known value of $2.3 billion — with 37 initiatives focusing on specific countries, including a $1 million investment from Rio Tinto to address the outbreak in China.

Areas of investment

So far, the focus of announced investments since January has been on the response, with supporting health systems being the second priority. Australia is investing $1.4 billion in its health sector, while the EU is preparing for $41 billion worth of coronavirus-related health care expenditures.

As the economic impacts caused by shutdowns continue to take their toll, investment in the economy is also increasingly important. Thailand is investing $1 billion to prevent a recession, Malaysia is investing $4.7 billion, and even fisheries in the Maldives are receiving $6.5 million worth of support related to the economic downturn.

Research is being supported through 19 initiatives and focuses on prevention and control, diagnosis and treatment, and clinical response. Vaccines and other treatments are being supported across 13 initiatives that have the EU, DFID, and the European Investment Bank among the funders.

At least $195 million is being invested into equipment supplies across 12 initiatives, including a $45 million investment from the private sector.

Geographic focus

With a large investment from governments in support of their national response, two-thirds of the initiatives are country-specific. Since the virus was first identified in China, 44 initiatives are specific to this country. The U.S. has the second-most initiatives with 15, followed by the Philippines with 13, and Pakistan with 10.

As a region, East Asia and the Pacific has seen 84 initiatives with a known value of $418 billion. South Asia has 28 initiatives worth at least $8.9 billion, and Western Europe has 24. The number of worldwide initiatives stands at 61, with at least $488 billion invested into the response.

But as the impact of COVID-19 grows, so will the investment required to respond to and understand it. Shifts beyond Asia will be likely, as will be increasing investment in economic and social responses.

Investment is just getting started — and Devex will continue to provide insights into known funding as it becomes available.

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This article was last updated on 2 June 2020

About the author

  • Lisa Cornish

    Lisa Cornish is a Devex Reporter based in Canberra, where she focuses on the Australian aid community. Lisa formerly worked with News Corp Australia as a data journalist for the national network and was published throughout Australia in major metropolitan and regional newspapers, including the Daily Telegraph in Melbourne, Herald Sun in Melbourne, Courier-Mail in Brisbane, and online through news.com.au. Lisa additionally consults with Australian government providing data analytics, reporting and visualization services. Lisa was awarded the 2014 Journalist of the Year by the New South Wales Institute of Surveyors.